BENGALURU: Security personnel at the Vidhana Soudha these days are suspiciously peering at everything that is small and yellow. Their target - the humble lemon. They have been given strict oral instructions not to allow anyone carrying lemons into the premises. However, since metal detectors cannot single out those with lemons, the guards are left to find other means to enforce the rule.
Viewed by many superstitious people as a powerful tool to practise black magic, the image of lemons strewn on the ground generate an instant connection to this dark art to many. However, a lemon, held in the hand, is considered a sign of good luck as people believe that it ‘diverts negative energy’ away from those holding it.
Strangely enough, the lemon that generates so much fear, is not even on the list of items prohibited inside the Vidhana Soudha, but only an oral order. This list is usually compiled by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Services and revised frequently. Police personnel, guarding the campus, follow this list religiously, except when it comes to checking for lemons. Since the start of the unofficial ban, security staff have been gathering an average of 20-25 lemons daily at the various entrances to the Vidhana Soudha. These are disposed of as wet waste.
“Now that the assembly session will start later this month, the number of visitors will be more, and so will the number of lemons,’’ said an official working at Vidhana Soudha.With no official order, policemen say that they have been orally directed to keep lemons away as several people in the government did not want to take a chance, what with so many things going wrong for the ruling coalition government.
‘Told to keep lemons out at any cost’
A police official on condition of anonymity told “We have been instructed not to allow lemons inside as some leaders and officials are uncomfortable. Recently, a lemon along with chilli and vermilion was found in the corridors as well as near the doors of some ministers and officials. There was considerable worry over this. While there is no official ban, we have been asked to keep lemons out at any cost.”
However, like every unwritten rule, this one also has its exceptions. PWD Minister HD Revanna, the Chief Minister’s elder brother, and a superstitious man himself, is permitted to carry lemons inside with him.