Srinagar, Kashmir, Northern India. Just before teatime. The Mayor of Srinagar spoke on behalf of his people yesterday when he urged Christian pilgrims to stay away from the Rozabal Shrine of Yus Asaf, because he wasn't really Jesus.
A recent publication, suggesting that Jesus may have survived the crucifixion and gone on to live in Kashmir has been seized on by Christians, yet scoffed at by Kashmiris.
The Mayor said that it was common knowledge in non-Christian countries that all somebody has to do is publish a pamphlet, or give a TV interview containing anything 'new' about Jesus, and the Da Vinci Code mob would stage an instantaneous mass pilgrimage in order to take pictures and talk shite to one another.
"We don't want these silly buggers here playing silly buggers," Chief Inspector Pardeep Chuckawelli of the Srinagar mounted police told us. "These are local shrines for local people. The bloody Westerners do it all the time - they come to our country, steal our shrines, our swamis and our Bengal tigers and take them as their own. Besides, Jesus would never have come here even if he had survived the Crucifixion - it's too bloody far to travel, and it's too bloody cold here. He was a Palestinian - he could not have handled our weather here in Srinagar."
Christian pilgrim Ted Flanders, his wife and two children, in Srinagar reacted angrily to Inspector Chuckawelli's outburst by saying that he didn't know what he was talking about. He told us:
"To base a rebuttal of this theory on the grounds of meteorological incompatability is just plain ricky-doodle-us. The Indians never gave a good gosh darn about the weather until the British arrived and founded the Raj."
"I give up," concluded the Mayor.
More as we get it.