As COVID-19 cases in the country crossed the mark of 2.3 lakh cases on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed that the Kumbh Mela event should now only be conducted with symbolic rituals.
Addressing over a tweet, PM said that he had spoken over a telephone call to Swami Awadeshananda Giri and made a suggestion, rather and appeal about the events of Kumbh Mela should be curtailed.
“Now that the two Shahi Snans (rituals baths in the Ganga) were done, I made a request that the rest of the events should be undertaken in a symbolic way,” he tweeted. This call came after one of the top seers Mahamandaleshwar Kapil Dev Das of the Nirwani Akhara had died from the ccovid-19 on Thursday. Due to this, two sanyasis too announced their exit from Kumbh.
Replying to his tweet, Swami Avdheshanand said that respecting the appeal made my PM himself, he has requested people to not gather for the ritual bathe in large numbers and follow the necessary protocols and limitations.
Kumbh Mela is a major pilgrimage of Hindus and is the largest religious gathering which is held over the course of 12 years. The festival sees millions of devotees on the banks of the Ganga involving many rituals, including ritual baths on specific dates.
On April 14th on the occasion of Baisakhi Snan, 9.5 lac devotees took a dip in the Holy river. Despite the efforts of the police and officials, it became hard to conduct the festival under strict surveillance. People were not taking any necessary precautions and believed that the ‘Ganga River’ would protect them from the viral infection. What an irony!
India on Monday witnessed an extreme rise in corona cases as 2,34,692 fresh covid-19 cases were reported. Amid the rising cases, Kumbh Mela due to its large gathering of people became a hub for corona as around 1701 came out positive for coronavirus. More test reports are awaited as the numbers are increasing every day.
Uttarakhand’s CM, Tirath Singh Rawat has also made an appeal to people, especially seers to cooperate with the officials and government in the fight against corona.
The next shahi snan would take place on Ram Navami (April 21) and the last and fourth one on April 27.