At the dawn of Independence, our first Prime Minister celebrated the country's dams and massive civic infrastructure projects as temples of modern India. One wonders what he might think of this Telangana village that dug up a National Highway because one man dreamt of finding a Shiva linga there.
The purported 'devotee', identified as 30-year-old Lakhan Manoj, claimed that Lord Shiva appeared in his dream, and told him to excavate a particular spot where he would find a lingam.
Manoj claimed that Lord Shiva also asked that a temple be constructed at the spot.
To make matters worse, The Hindu reported that even the sarpanch of Jangaon Balne Siddu Lingam and municipal vice-chairman Nagarapu Venkat believed Manoj's claims.
â€śManoj is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and has been getting this dream since three years. He asked us to help him dig up the spot and construct the temple. He used to conduct prayers at this location every Monday. As Manoj swooned in excitement at this spot we believed him,â€ť The Hindu quoted the sarpanch as saying.
A video of the incident that occurred, shows Manoj shaking vigorously and rolling on a patch of the road frantically, thereby 'suggesting' that the Shiva linga was underneath.
Following this, locals hired an earth mover and began digging the Hyderabad-Warangal National Highway, with several people gathering at the spot.
As the digging continued, Manoj continued shaking vigorously from time to time, yelling 'Om Namah Shivaya', to convince villagers to dig further.
By the time they had dug deep enough and realised that there was no linga, traffic on the national highway was jammed, and police had arrived on the spot.
After immediately halting the work, the Jangaon police arrested Manoj, along with the Sarpanch and some other locals.
Speaking to the media after the arrest, Manoj continued to claim that the Shiva linga was still there.
What's most ironic about the incident is that it came on the same day when ISRO made history again by launching the GSLV Mk-III, its heaviest rocket to date.