Thursday, January 18, 2018
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a new dawn

Allahabad steps into the Mahakumbh year.
As the new dawn removed the blanket of darkness if not fog from the horizons of the city and the sun gracefully came out to kiss the waters of the Triveni this morning, the city woke up to welcome the New Year 2013 , hoping that this year we will be spared  the ordeals we underwent in 2012 to which we bade goodbye without regrets.
This is a special year for Allahabad because after 144 years comes the Mahakumbh which starts in January and which will turn this city into a confluence of millions coming from different regions and states of the country , symbolizing the inner strength of our composite culture. We will also be acting hosts to innumerable foreigners, some pilgrims, some  tourists, some curious sight-seers who would be reaching here as our worthy guests. We will remember what Raj Kapoor sang in 1960s: ‘Mehman jo hamara hota hai vo jaan se pyara hota hai’ because, ‘Hum us desh ke baasi hain, jis desh mein Ganga behti hai.’ 

But  Ganga Maiya  too has suffered a lot because of its neglect by her children who worship her, adore her and yet throw filth into its bosom presumably in the belief that the all-absorbing Mother will be able to bear the brunt of the effluents which are being flushed into it from all sides. For, don’t we believe, ‘Ganga , tera paani Amrit’? It is this symbol of purity with which we associate the Ganga that brings millions to its banks year after year  to attain salvation but who do not  seem to bother about taking  take care of that  Mother because we erroneously  believe that she cares for all, including herself. But the Mother gives-- does not take: ‘Jo sab kuchch de aur kuch bhi na le, aisi hoti hai ma’ but hasn’t the poet also said, ‘Hai vo dil paththar jis dil mein mata ka pyar nahin’.
  Ganga is now a ‘national’ river.   Prime minister Manmohan Singh  announced this on November 4, 2008 after a meeting with the ministers for water resources, environment and forests and urban development, to discuss how to bring the river back to life. Though a very important step, it  has hardly shown any results  because tanneries and other effluent-discharging factories on its banks continue  to dump their filth into its waters. Crores have been sanctioned for its purification. And those who have  swindled the money and committed a grave sin by betraying the Mother will also be pouring in for a dip to atone for their sins.

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