Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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And where were the seers?
It is a pity that on the occasion of the world’s biggest religious fair, the ideals and values of ‘dharam’ were forgotten by those who were fleecing money on any pretext from the visitors, not sparing even those bereaved pilgrims who had lost their near and dear ones.

When I heard the touching tale of some pilgrims who alleged that the heartless men at the mortuary were demanding Rs1200 for the release of each body, I couldn’t help recalling an old song by Lata sung some six decades ago: ‘Yeh duniya ne apna dharma bech dala, janaaze khareede, kafan bech dala’. When senior officials were informed they couldn’t just believe it. How could they? Have they ever gone to a mortuary? If not, how can they ever dream about what happens there? And, by the way, why would any person, who has lost a near and dear one, make such an allegation? The group from Vallabhgarh in Haryana created quite a ‘Hangama’ against this heartless extortion. Extortion has been taking place on every front. Even the rickshaw puller is extorting very high fare to say nothing of tempos and taxis. When Uday Shankar Jaiswal was posted here as the Traffic SP, it had been decided that all tempo drivers would wear a uniform with their names, license number inscribed on the dress. Tempos would carry the owner’s name, the destinations to be covered and the fares to be charged. Uday left Allahabad long, long ago. But has any tempo followed these norms? No. What is more, none is bothered.
People injured in stampede, fighting for their lives in hospitals, were feeling so shocked to see that none of the seers—the saints and Mahants- who had lectured to them on the virtues of kindness, compassion and on helping the needy— could not be seen anywhere near the hospitals. Why? Their caressing hand would have certainly provided the healing touch.


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