When will worshippers open their eyes? Deaths at Kumbh Mela raise questions

Published: February 19, 2013

GURPREET SINGH
RADIO INDIA

Kumbh Mela

Relatives of people who died in a stampede while returning home from the Kumbh Mela festival sit among the corpses of their relatives at the train station in Allahabad, India on Feb. 10, 2013. Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

If the deaths of over 30 pilgrims returning from the so-called “holy dip’’ in India have failed to shake the blind faith of worshippers, perhaps it might take many more deaths and centuries to end this madness.

Kumbh Mela, a festival of ascetics near Allahabad, India, has remained popular among orthodox Hindus for many years and has continued to attract crowds from different parts of the world. Even those blinded by spirituality in the western world make it a point to attend.

This year’s Kumbh Mela witnessed more than 30 pilgrims dying in a stampede at Allahabad railway station and many of tents burnt because of fires in separate incidents. While the authorities have rightly ordered a probe into the circumstances that led to the tragedy, those indulging in blind faith over supremacy of god should also look hard at themselves.

If participating in Kumbh Mela is a divine duty how come the god, who is supposedly the most powerful and kind being, could not prevent an accident that claimed the lives of pilgrims who took a “holy dip’’ to either please him or to wash away their sins? It is often said that even a leaf does not move without god’s will, then why we should not put the blame where it belongs? Instead of questioning this blind faith and the existence of god, some would rather argue that the victims were fortunate to die while returning from a holy act. What a hypocritical way of protecting someone unseen?

That this madness will still continue even in the face of this tragedy is not surprising as this was not the first time that pilgrims have died while performing a holy act. Stampede is the most common cause of death for devotees who gather in the thousands during pilgrimages. The madness and rush to be the first one to offer reverence further contributes to stampede. People have also died in road mishaps and fires either during their pilgrimages or while heading to or retuning from them. Even the followers of the most modern religions, like Sikhism, are not free from this weakness. People outside India might assume that it has to do with collective religious attitudes of the Indian society, but they should need to know that atheism and free thought have also prevailed during the ancient Indian civilization.

Each incident demands some fair questions: whether god exists for example, or whether god is a sadist for taking the lives of his own followers? It’s a shame Indian society continues to enjoy the benefits of science and technology, yet it has not grown enough to break itself free from the shackles of religious beliefs.

Tags:




Featured

Police tape-Abbotsford-crime

Indian woman locked in bathroom for three years by husband after giving birth to a girl

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian woman was kept locked in a bathroom for three years by her husband and not allowed to see her child because she gave…
Continue Reading »

Hitler Ice cream-cafe

Owner of made in India ‘Hitler’ ice-cream gets defensive

If you think the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has nothing to do with ice-creams, you’re wrong. Photographs of an ice-cream cone manufactured in Uttar Pradesh…
Continue Reading »

India marriage-abuse-prostitution-poverty

Indian bride takes a toilet as wedding gift

IANS Akola – A toilet stole the show at a traditional Maharashtrian marriage here. The prefabricated toilet with a water closet, a wash-basin and mirror…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

SurreyBC-crime-desi

Parole revoked again for Surrey woman convicted in brutal slaying of prostitute

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A woman who is serving a prison sentence for the brutal killing of a prostitute she met at a notorious Surrey…
Continue Reading »

Elizabeth Taylor

Divorced BC couple hope to remarry this summer despite woman’s terminal cancer diagnosis

DAN FUMANO VANCOUVER DESI For better and for worse, a lot has happened to Kim and Andrew Hopkins in the years between the first time…
Continue Reading »

CORN

Food watchdog detains corn livestock feed from India over health concerns

JOHN COTTER THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is detaining corn shipments from India used for livestock feed to…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Bollywood

Filmmakers should learn from Bollywood’s PK, says Chinese daily

IANS Beijing – Indian comedy “PK”, which is running successfully in theatres here , is an example of “how to tell a bright and thought…
Continue Reading »

Caitlyn Jenner

Bruce Jenner debuts as woman on Vanity Fair cover

IANS New Delhi – Transgender Olympic champion and reality TV star Bruce Jenner unveiled her new name Caitlyn Jenner in a Vanity Fair cover shoot….
Continue Reading »

CANCER

Many patients with cancer that spreads to the brain could be spared some radiation, study says

MARILYNN MARCHIONE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHICAGO — A major study could change care for many of the hundreds of thousands of people each year who…
Continue Reading »

RELIGION

Massive cross rises in violent Pakistan port city, home to an often-fearful Christian minority

ADIL JAWAD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KARACHI, Pakistan — Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain…
Continue Reading »

guru-sacrifice

Indian guru lynched after beheading boy, 5, in suspected child sacrifice

IANS Guwahati – Simmering tension prevailed in Assam after a guru sacrificed a five-year-old boy to appease the God of death and was later lynched by…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

IIFA

Kuala Lumpur to come alive in Bollywood avatar for IIFA 2015

VANCOUVER DESI The Bollywood brigade will invade Malaysia this year for the Indian Oscar’s. 529287983_215616308 ◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 33 Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra…
Continue Reading »

Top 10 actresses of 2015

Photos: Hottest 10 Bollywood babes of 2015

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of 10 Bollywood bombshells who’ve to topped the Times Celebex charts. Top 10 actresses of 2015 ◄ Back Next ► Picture…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Vidya Balan to promote World Ethnic Day

IANS New Delhi – Actress Vidya Balan, who often sports saris, has been roped in by online ethnic products marketplace Craftsvilla.com as the face of…
Continue Reading »