We’re used to Christian wingnuts in this country declaring that every natural disaster is the fault of gays or abortion or whatever their current bugaboo du jour is. But in India, an actual government minister is blaming deadly flooding last year on atheists shitting — literally — near a shrine.
India’s water resources minister, Uma Bharti, recently said the underlying cause of the catastrophic floods that hit North India in 2013 was atheists defecating near the holy shrine at Kedarnath, one of the most revered pilgrimage sites, that draw thousands of devotees each year.
The natural disaster, which was dubbed as ‘Himalayan Tsunami’ by the media, killed more than 6,000 people, most of whom lived in the state of Uttarakhand. Landslides and flash floods that accompanied the heavy downpour also happened to devastate Kedarnath, an ancient pilgrimage site for Hindus. Not only did thousands of pilgrims lose their lives during the catastrophe, the entire town surrounding the temple found itself submerged underwater for weeks.While discussing details about the temple’s reconstruction, Bharti told scientists at Dehradun’s Himalayan Institute of Glaciology and Forest Research that the floods were a result of God’s wrath after atheists defecated near the holy shrine for years.
Bharti, like the newly elected prime minister of India, is a Hindu nationalist. Any time you see any religious adherent followed by “nationalist” you should be very concerned.