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Vivek Oberoi pledges to serve Ganga but Hema returns without ‘Basanti’ fireworks!

Film stars were also  lured by the magic of the Kumbh. Why Amitabh Bachchan didn’t come to relive his childhood Kumbh memories here   is a mystery. But his co-star of Sholey, Hema Malani, was here for some time to take a dip and receive blessings from the seers though this time she was not heard chattering non-stop  like Basanti to remind us of the ‘Sholays’ of the 1970s. Among other noted film personalities that came, I would mention Vivek Oberoi  for the simple reason that he declared   that he had come here to dedicate himself to the service of the Ganga under the patronage of his Guru Chidanand. Said Vivek: ‘Ganga has given enough to all of us since time immemorial but now she is waiting for her sons, her worshippers to rescue her from the scourge of pollution and  give back to her the  old pristine purity and form.   Ganga is no doubt revered and worshipped by the Hindus. And a dip in its holy waters is believed to free one  from the baggage of sins committed in his or her  lifetime, enabling the bather to attain salvation  i.e. freedom from the cycle of birth and death.

The Vedic Scriptures account for several other reasons to take bath in the Ganga and other holy rivers. And at Allahabad during Kumbh, the bathing ceremony is the most auspicious activity  apart from the enlightenment one receives through spiritual discussions with the saints and seers who shower their blessings on one and all. In fact, if one minutely goes through the Vedic scriptures  one will find that  every river therein  is personified as a deity and the water stream is interpreted as the material manifestation of that personality. Rivers are deified as mothers as they are a source for human existence. And the  Ganga is one of the most special rivers as it is believed to come directly from the ocean of milk by washing the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. And since bathing in the holy waters of Ganga is believed to be most auspicious at the time of Kumbh Mela, one can understand why billions of people come to the teerthraj Prayag to take a dip. They know that the river is polluted. But the concept of purity associated with the Ganga overpowers even that bitter reality and worshippers feel that by even sprinkling Gangajal on their bodies they will attain ‘moksha’

Vivek Oberoi said here that he would find it easier to generate awakening for Ganga through the social net working sites and impress upon his friends and fans to rise to the occasion and join the Ganga Action Parivar which has dedicated itself to the task of rejuvenating the holy river. But Oberoi should not forget that only the enlightened elite class has access to the networking sites, not the man on the street or the villager living in the rural areas. It is he who has to be motivated against polluting the river by throwing dead human bodies and carcasses of animals into the river instead of  using other methods to dispose of their mortal remains. It is they who throw waste material into the rivers, wash their animals, allow chemical wastes to be dumped there.

The message could be conveyed better through a full-fledged feature film or even tele-serials. Raj Kapoor did that twice. Once he sang the glory of the Ganga when he produced ‘Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai’ and propagated to the world, ‘Hoton pe sachchai rehti hai, jahan dil mein safai rehti hai, hum us desh ke vaasi hain jis desh mein Ganga behti hai’.  It was a matter of great pride to live on the banks of the Ganga. But years later he produced another film to give a jolt to us, ‘Ram teri Ganga maili gho gai’. He said that this had happened the Ganga had been  busy ‘paapiyon ke paap dhote dhote...'


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