Kanwar Yatra- A Boon or a bane!

I drove for about 120 km on a Sunday, which is not a big deal for a Delhite. We get use to long distances. What matters to us is how much time it takes to reach from one place to other. Today I drove from Akshardham to Gurgaon, what I experienced is something very serious and a matter of concern for a citizen living in this region. Though I have a guess that even in UP and Bihar the situation might be similar.

While I reached my destination, the first thing that I did was to google “Kanwariya 2016” and actually understands the significance, doings, beliefs, and duration. I read about Lord Shiva devotees and came across this – the Kanvar Yatra used to be a small affair undertaken by a few saints and older devotees until the 1990s, when it started gaining popularity. Today, hundreds of thousands of devotees from surrounding states of DelhiUttar PradeshHaryanaRajasthanPunjabBihar and some from JharkhandChhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh reach these places to participate in Kanwar Mela. In 2003, 75.5 million pilgrims reached Haridwar,] with traffic growing each year. Heavy security measures are undertaken by the government and the traffic on Delhi-Haridwar national highway (National Highway 58) is diverted for the period.

I read the history about it which says- Kanwar yatra is related to the churning of the ocean of milk in the Hindu Puranas. When the poison came out before Amrita and the world started burning from its heat then lord Shiva accepted to inhale poison. But, after inhaling it he started suffering from negative energy of poison. In Treta Yuga Lord Shiva’s devout follower Ravana did meditation. He brought holy water of Ganga by using kanwar and poured it on Lord Shivas temple in Puramahadev, thus releasing Lord Shiva from the negative energy of the poison.

My observation and experience from the drive I had today –

–          The moment I took turn towards Sarai Kale Khan road, I found n no. of vehicles with loud hooting, there were men sitting in open jeeps, cars, trucks and when they found a girl driving the car, they hooted damn loudly

–          They blocked the traffic, every 500 meters

–          The sound of music was extremely loud

–          There were small trucks which generator loaded on it, the generator was on and black smoke was coming out

–          I found boys with hockey sticks on the road, walking, riding the bike, as if they are going to hit somebody.  Few days back someone told me that near Ghaziabad, the boys in Kanvar (orange) dress were stopping cars and forcefully sitting in the car and take a drive and if someone ignores, they hit the car badly, so as to damage it. I was very scared to witness them, yet I kept driving.

–          After a lot of struggle and scared ways, I happened to drive on NH8, where I suddenly saw police men, who were trying to manage traffic on the highway by signing regular cars to drive in far lanes, i.e. away from Kanvar people, walking, driving, dancing, singing, loud music playing on the left of the road. By the way, not only this, the stretch was full of crushed plastic glasses – who the hell is going to clear this mess !!! It would be great if someone can answer this.

–          So in short – there was traffic jam, noise pollution, Gunda gardi, air pollution, plastic pollution, the behavior of such people become such as if the entire road, belongs to them and to my surprise the government is suppose to manage this ritual. Like really !

I wonder what for exactly this YATRA is being done.

Who is going to be benefitted?

If there is so much time and money with people to spare on road and government to manage this, why can’t poor people be fed and the system looks after the real concerns in the society?

Who is becoming saint?

Are we really religious?

At the cost of sounding RELIGIOUS, are we doing justice to the people around us and the environment?

I am sure I am not the only one who is fed up of this practice around and wanting to get answer of such happenings.

I am an Indian and Hindu by religion, as called in this country and as far as believing in God and respecting the religions, I do and I respect all religions. Yet I fail to understand the reason for this chaos, which is not only dangerous to me as a girl, which is dangerous for the society as a whole, which is causing pollution in all ways, damage to roads, etc.

The situation is not much different during day! And weekdays are worse!

The heavy rainfall and flooded Gurgaon created problems for the traffic and commuters for hours and this can be sorted, required the authorities take the right measures, I swear the Kanvar yatra problem is increasing year on year and if this won’t be dealt, it’s really going to lead to an unseen disaster in our society.

Can we behave please?


  • Ashrita

    Very well written shruti..just by the name of religion we are free to do anything in our country..that’s how it is and will be

    July 24, 2017 - 11:26 am Reply
    • Shruti

      Thanks Ashrita 🙂
      I just hope that someday we realize how important it is to live for each other and peace.

      July 27, 2017 - 8:12 pm Reply

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