Monday, July 24, 2006Share
I understood that this Saturday was the last day of this years Kanawariyan season. While the scene of some kanwars with swollen and bandaged foot, yet walking, although gingerly, was heart rendering and one can not stop appreciating their devotion. These are the people who have walked more than 300 kms carrying sacred water of the river Ganga on their shoulders. They have traveled all the way from Haridwar and Rishikesh. The water will be finally offered to Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Somvati Amavasya, falling on this Monday. It appeared to me that kanwars believes that putting more pain on the body may earn them a place in higher echelon in heaven.
Most of the kanwars we met were walking gingerly by road side. Probably dead tired by now, they hardly posed any problem to others sharing the road. Occasionally we met some who seemed to have very little to do with devotion and faith. These are joy seekers for whom religion is just a cover. They bring shame to the religion and faith. Unfortunately, these hoodlums outnumbers genuine devotees and their size is growing by years. They travel in groups and often with vehicles like mini trucks. Loudspeakers on their vehicles were blaring hindi parodies listening to which God really must have gone crazy. Possibilities of them being drunk can not be ruled as being in ecstasy is often associated with Lord Shiva. Their slow moving vehicles are the main culprit for traffic jams. They believe that they had the first right on the busy highways. This year some of them have got indulged in rioting and violence. Few police vehicles were set on fire at Palwal near Faridabad on the NH-2 on last Thursday after some kanawar was hit by a vehicle. Then there was another incident on the Delhi-Jaipur highway following which kanwars jammed the busy highway for hours. Then another incident was reported where such a group hooligan kanwars was brandishing hockey sticks and was hitting any vehicles that tried to overtake them at the busy Dhaula Kuan crossing. This group of kanwars is menace to the society, but no one dare control them. Most of them are young Haryanites, who had bought most of the bad names to Delhi. (But the situation in Bihar is also no better either – the kanwars their will get into your train, including AC compartments)
Fortunately, this year’s kanwariyan season has been over. Hopefully, the Delhi administration will take some concrete steps next year so that such massive loss of fuel and manhours in traffic jams can be avoided.
posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 12:02 PM