Discourage mammoth congregations?



When I heard about a team from Harvard studying the temporary settlement of literally a ‘country’ on the banks of Sangam in Allahabad, I was hardly surprised.

It actually calls for research, a research that covers its every aspect – from waste management to crowd management.

Amitabh Bachchan, who spent his childhood in Allahabad, was bang on when he tweeted, “It is nothing short of a miracle to be able to conduct an event like the Kumbh and have management for it in place.”

Outside Allahabad, perhaps it is hard to even fathom the magnitude of Kumbh as well as the faith that drives millions to the Sangam city. Till the Sunday tragedy struck the mega affair, most of my friends, who had gone to Sangam were quite ecstatic after the holy dip.

“You should personally experience the bliss after the dip in the cold waters. It’s less to do with faith, the reasons are more scientific,” they argued. Till then, there were no adverse comments on the arrangements.

But hell broke loose after 36 deaths in a stampede at the railway station on Sunday. People dispute the figure of three to four crores, but there is no denying of the fact that unprecedented crowds were at the Sangam and I hold the saints responsible for the unmanageable congregation.

As it is a matter of faith, no individual can convince the ‘gullible’ except for the saints who should tell people that all the 55 days of the Kumbh are as significant as the day of Mauni Amavasya and Basant Panchami.

As they lead the ’shahi snans’ these dates may be more auspicious for the religious leaders that stay at Kumbh through the two month period.

This is the only way to scatter crowds and save lives. Management of crowds at Kumbh or any other religious congregation has often ended with loss of lives in stampedes across the country. Probes have been done but lessons hardly learnt.

Instead of blaming each other, it’s time we discourage such huge religious congregations.

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  • Anonymous

    Would you ban Hajj on same grounds?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/drkvranjit Dr KV Ranjit

    Like in the stampede killing over 100 pilgrims at Pulmedu hill camp of the famous Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in 2011 wherein rogue sections of Dewasom board&police along with ISI-MSS(Ministry of State Security-the illknown Chinese intelligence counterpart)fake note,terror&spy module of Kerala and especially Pathanamthitta headed by Kingpins Adv Mathur Suresh(earlier arrested in a fake note case)&Adv MANOJ S,who delayed the ceremonial Makara villakku(lamp) lighting by 15 min from the customary 6.55pm to 7.10pm for darkness to set in with a jeep ploughing into the crowd(VIDE India Today etc) entangling pilgrims clothes in the bumper&wheels as well as surprising absence of sufficient security at Pulmedu hill were the real reasons for the stampede,

    The stampede at the Allahabad stations is in fact gas been caused by the ill motivated lathi charge by police on the Kumbh mela pilgrims deliberately to cause stampede.The motive could be to subvert sanctity of the holy occasion since both Pakistan&China are upto devilish acts through terrorists,agents&rogue sections.

    Gross and unchecked corruption is breeding an extensive and well entrenched rogue sections endangering social to national and even international security.And like in 1975 the solution lies in an a supervening emergency.Of what use can be such subversive activities when 10 times backlash is seen in Karachi&Balochistan and Tibet&Xinjiang

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  • dsingh

    Why even allow to gather in large number for these occasions? You need to come out of your shell and try to understand human behavior and respects others faith.

    Why don’t you suggest people to celebrate Christmas on a weekend or new years day on feb first.

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  • Proud Hindu

    who are you to ask for such a discouragement?….we will come out in larger numbers every year…….why is media out to paint anything related to Hindus as bad ??…

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    Ramesh Reply:

    This is funny very indeed. People will come in tens of millions and will die and you think media is painting everything relating to Hindus as bad? A very strange logic unless you believe that stampedes are the surest and shortest way to moksha.

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  • balaji

    in this incident four main responsible factors–

    (1)railways who allowed to enter more people than its capacity of platform/railwaystation,

    (2)local state authorities who didn`t stopped extra amount people moving at railway-station,

    (3)all saint intelectuals didn`t learned to manage/control devotees/people in modern ways,

    (4)people who all entered hurriedly in railway-stations without understanding its low capacity,

    solutions to avoid all such accidents in future :

    (1) all religious saints/sadhu`s should adopt modern technological way of management for securing life of huge amount of people(4 crore ) like in maha-kumbh..

    (2)all young saints/ sadhu`s should unit and form a committee/council/managing body which will adopt modern telecommunication equipments and high level skills of management for performing all such maha-kumbh events securely in future ..

    (3)these new saints /sadhu`s or at least younger generation of saints/sadhus should take their foots forward for building their own big international level institute of management studies for giving education/training/instructions to all new/old saints/sadhus/religious heads/religious people all over india training of all types management or specially most important management of events like maha-kumbh/mela or yatra or all big festival poojas or asthasanskar swadhyashibir

    (4)all new/old saints/sadhus should use/spread all new education-health care technology in events like such maha-kumbh

    (5)these saints/sadhus should not forget that they are actually saint- intellectuals of

    society so they have to remain farword to solve all problems of education-health

    care in society/country, actually they have the prime responsibilities of education and healthcare, so they should also take their foots forward forming high-quality educational institutes in english language also alongwith regional langauage, and also help/build medical colleges-hospitals at prime places where such maha-kumbh events occurs periodically from thousands of years……………..

    [Reply]

  • balaji

    in this incident four main responsible factors–

    (1)railways who allowed to enter more people than its capacity of platform/railwaystation,

    (2)local state authorities who didn`t stopped extra amount people moving at railway-station,

    (3)all saint intelectuals didn`t learned to manage/control devotees/people in modern ways,

    (4)people who all entered hurriedly in railway-stations without understanding its low capacity,

    solutions to avoid all such accidents in future :

    (1) all religious saints/sadhu`s should adopt modern technological way of management for securing life of huge amount of people(4 crore ) like in maha-kumbh..

    (2)all young saints/ sadhu`s should unit and form a committee/council/managing body which will adopt modern telecommunication equipments and high level skills of management for performing all such maha-kumbh events securely in future ..

    (3)these new saints /sadhu`s or at least younger generation of saints/sadhus should take their foots forward for building their own big international level institute of management studies for giving education/training/instructions to all new/old saints/sadhus/religious heads/religious people all over india training of all types management or specially most important management of events like maha-kumbh/mela or yatra or all big festival poojas or asthasanskar swadhyashibir

    (4)all new/old saints/sadhus should use/spread all new education-health care technology in events like such maha-kumbh

    (5)these saints/sadhus should not forget that they are actually saint- intellectuals of

    society so they have to remain farword to solve all problems of education-health

    care in society/country, actually they have the prime responsibilities of education and healthcare, so they should also take their foots forward forming high-quality educational institutes in english language also along with regional language, and also help/build medical colleges-hospitals at prime places where such maha-kumbh events occurs periodically from thousands of years……………..

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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  • http://twitter.com/Farrukhabadi Praveen Saxena

    The stampede and the deaths were sad. As per my information it happened due to a few policemen raising their lathis at a time when there were heavy crowds at the station . Also I am told, there was a wrong announcement about a train .
    As for the people congregating in large numbers .. it is all personal and it would be wrong to sermonize. As an Allahabadi .. I feel most thrilled when I see images of the Kumbh.. I hope to go there before it ends.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    The deaths of around 36 is nothing though a single life lost due to mismanagement is highly unfortunate. If not 3 even if 1 crore people have travelled for the Kumbh, such tragedies are difficult to avert, if not impossible. The Saudis have a Hajj ministry since decades who have several boards for the purpose of researching every aspect of the huge Hajj exercise wherein millions of people move into Makkah, go to Mina, then Muzdalifah, then Arafat coming back to Mina and eventually to Makkah – all in 3 days flat! Logistics, stay, food, medical facilities, health and sanitation – its a nightmare – and you wont believe the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene that are constantly maintained at the holy sites 24 hours for several days by thousands of workers and hundreds of machines. These boards study each hajj and find out ways to improve the facilities provided to the pilgrims and minimise accidents and deaths – resultantly there is constant improve every time you go there.
    I do not think we lack the resources to conduct a similar exercise for the Kumbh, and at various Teerth sthans and all shrines – especially improving hygiene, sanitation, public health, transportation and stay of the pilgrims. Needs constant study, research, dedication and yes honesty. Hajj officials never indulge in any corruption, even an atheist or criminal would vouch for that – can we say the same about our bureaucracy incharge of the Kumbh and Tirupati?

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  • Abhi

    it is total incompetence from Railways. No need to gloss it over. They could have easily coordinated with local authorities for crowd management, but they were not really interested.

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