Rivers are considered sacred in our country and the festival of bathing in the river is not only a festival to wash away the filth of the mind but also the filth of the mind. But today such an environment has been created all around that rituals, orthodoxy, bigotry are being given more importance. When I saw the Kumbh for the first time in 1971, my experience at that time was that the Kumbh was organized in a more simple, easy and natural way. At that time the spiritual dignity of organizing Kumbh was felt more. At that time there was neither so much crowd nor much fanfare and as far as I remember, there was not much interference of politicians in this event on the pretext of responsibility. Writers were also called in it. Artists were called. Music artists and masters were invited. I think that Kumbh was more associated with culture at that time. But for some time it has been seen that the involvement and intervention of politicians has increased in this. I think political use of Kumbh Mela is wrong. It seems to me that as the Kumbh Mela is getting grander, its spiritual and cultural dignity is diminishing.
The people of our country have had faith in religion and spirituality for centuries. When the public feels that going there will give her the strength and peace to live, she goes there. She gets peace of mind and gets the strength to live by going to temple, mosque, gurudwara and church, then she goes there and I don’t see any harm in it. If the public gets energy from bathing in the Ganges, then they take bath in the Ganges, if they get inspiration and strength from sitting in a temple for hours and listening to their discourses, then they do so. This gives him peace and tranquility. The Kumbh Mela is one such event, where the ocean of people rises. The crowd of Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj is very grand. It is said that if a child is lost in one Kumbh Mela, he is found only in another Kumbh. This is such a gathering, where people from all over the country reach with different kinds of sufferings. Joining the Kumbh crowd instills a sense of collectivity among the people who feel that they too are part of this vast, multifaceted and diverse culture. Not only this, the disciplined conduct of this huge crowd is also visible on sight.
The people of our country are so naive and faithful that they accept whatever they say. Various saints and saints give discourses there. If taking advantage of this opportunity to educate them about cleanliness, education, girl child protection, respect for women etc., I think it will have more impact than other awareness campaigns. Politicians, our Sant Samaj should take advantage of this opportunity and inspire the public to do good work. They should inspire people to keep the rivers holy, to have respect and respect for women, to make them aware of education, to lead a life of morality and to follow virtue and restraint. Where else to get a huge platform like Kumbh Mela to spread awareness. If we make good use of this event in this way, then no one can stop India from moving fast on the path of progress. It is said that long ago, when so many means of transport were not available, the sages and saints used to leave their ashrams and huts for the Kumbh Mela months ago and on the way, the people of the village where they stopped, the people of the place were taught religion and spirituality. While teaching, he used to preach to lead a moral and virtuous life. But I feel that along with the erosion of values in other areas of society today religion has also faded away, spirituality has become obscure, bigotry and rituals have increased. Whereas by the turn of the twenty-first century, bigotry should have been eradicated from India.
That is to say that this huge event should be used to make the society aware, motivate it to stand up against the uncleanliness, illiteracy, discrimination of caste-class-religion, gender discrimination. Today we have increased material facilities, but morals and values have eroded.
Kumbh is a huge global event. It is also a great platform to understand the diversity of India. People of different customs, traditions come here from all over the country and seeing the crowd of Kumbh one realizes that we are one in spite of being the bearers of pluralistic culture. It is also an opportunity to get rid of the narrowness of thoughts and to carry forward the thinking and knowledge necessary for national progress with purity of body and mind.