Following the intervention of the police and the Sarpanch, the villagers in Mallial, Jagtial district have stopped worshipping the tree.

Myth of the speaking tree goddess How cops busted the rumour in Telangana villageScreenshot/V6
news Superstition Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 18:18

It is an established fact that trees and other flora have life. Recent studies also suggest that plants can hear when they are being eaten, but can they speak? Well, a ‘miracle’ palm tree in the tiny village of Kondagattu Muthyampet in Jagtial, Telangana could—apparently. At least till the intervention of the police.

Two days ago, rumours about a palm tree’s ability to speak spread like wildfire and created ripples across Jagtial district. Seeing this unusual behaviour of a tree, villagers declared that the tree was a goddess and started worshipping it by applying vermillion, turmeric and a garland wrapped around it.

The tree was inside the property of Mallesham Goud, a toddy tapper.

According to locals, five days ago, village children were playing near Mallesham’s house when they heard someone crying in the vicinity. Scared, they complained to the village elders.

Though the village elders rubbished it initially, later even they could hear the sound. Perplexed about where the noise was coming from, they came to the conclusion that the noise was coming from one of the many palm trees belonging to Mallesham Goud.

“While some were puzzled by the strange noise emanating from the tree, a few women gossiped that the tree was possessed by Goddess Yellamma Thalli. Before others could determine the exact reason for this bizarre occurrence, the tree was given the status of a goddess,” said the village Sarpanch Bhaskar Reddy.

Soon, news about the palm tree spread to neighbouring villages. Scores of people started thronging the place every day to hear the noise coming from the tree.

Subsequently, Telugu news channel V6 did a small story on it, which prompted the police authorities to visit the village and dispel the rumours.

Speaking to TNM, Mallial Circle Inspector Nagender said, “We visited the village on Thursday evening along with the SI and Sapranch. We examined the tree and could not hear anything. The villagers must have heard honey bees buzzing and must have freaked out,” he said.

“We have educated the villagers not to fall for such illogical things and the need to maintain rationality,” Nagender added.

Following the intervention of the police and the Sarpanch, the villagers have stopped worshipping the tree.

The Sarpanch said, “We dispelled the myth about the tree’s ability to speak. When Mallesham didn’t seem convinced, we cautioned him that some conman will use this opportunity to construct a temple in the vicinity and deprive him of his home.”

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