Owl festival celebrated in Varanasi
Hundreds of people participated in a unique Owl Festival in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to highlight the current state of the country's political class.
A poetry meet was organized and a rally taken around the city, with people dancing and rejoicing.
Rajendra Trivedi, a member of the organizing committee, said the festival was all about fun and frolic. He also said the poets took potshots at the political fraternity over the issue of corruption.
"It's a festival of fun merriment and enthusiasm. This Owl festival is now being organized for the 12th year running. This is a unique event where we take out a procession in honour of the owl. We target the corrupt political leaders and administrative officers through this festival. Famous poets and singers take part in this as well," said Trivedi.
Meanwhile, a poet, Saand Banarasi, said that every year, this festival had a different theme and this year the theme was 'throwing muck', which was decided keeping in mind the way the political parties have been behaving with each other.
"Every year we have a particular slogan and theme. This year it is 'throwing muck'. It has been chosen keeping in mind our corrupt politicians. As you can see today all the political parties doing is blaming each other and throwing muck," said Banarasi.
A series of high profile scandals have rocked the reputation of the Indian political fraternity -- including the coal scam, the sale of lucrative mobile phone licences that cost the state possibly USD 39 billion in lost revenues and disastrous mismanagement of the Commonwealth Games -- appear to be a key tipping point.
Corruption has been worsening in India over the years. Transparency International's corruption index in 2010 ranked India 87th, level with Albania and below China in 78th place.