Dehra Dun : In what is being seen as a major step taken by the community of sadhus and sants for the cleanliness of the Ganga and keep it free from pollution, Mahamandleshwar Vishwavedanand of the Haridwar-based Mahanirvani akhara was given a ‘bhu-samadhi’ instead of ‘jal smadahi’ in the Ganga which has been in vogue for the sages in the religious cities.
A spokesman of the sadhus and sants said that before the Haridwar Kumbh in 2009-10, the Akhil Bharaitya Akhara Parishad had passed a resolution asking the Uttarakhand government to give them land where the sadhus and sants of the state could be given a ‘bhu-samadhi’ instead of ‘jal samadhi’ as it would help in retaining the cleanliness and purity of the Ganga.
He said that on the directions of the then chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘NIshank’, the Mela and District Administration of Haridwar started searching for land in right earnest where the sadhus and sants could be given ‘bhu-samadhi’ and the officials of then Akharta Parishad were also given details of the land, but it was never actually given to them.
The spokesman said that after the Kumbh Mela the members of the Parishad sent feelers to the state government on numerous occasions, as they felt doing away with the traditional ‘jal samadhi’ was in the interest of a clean and pollution free Ganga, but there was no response from the government and the matter is on the back burner.
He said that just before the recently held Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad had also forwarded a resolution to the Uttar Pradesh government for land for ‘bhu-samadhi’. There as immediate response from UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who directed the authorities at Allahabad to search for some appropriate land.
“In fact Yadav went to the extent of saying that land for ‘bhu-samadhi’ would be made available in all the religious cities of Uttar Pradesh so that the Ganga retains its purity and cleanliness. But the Kumbh Mela has gone and with it the assurance been given by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for land has been conveniently forgotten”, he lamented.
The spokesman said that the sadhus and sants of the region are all for a clean and pollution free Ganga and this is not the first time that a sage of high standing has been given ‘bhu-samadhi’ and not the traditional ‘jal samadhi’ as there have been over two dozen instances of ‘bhu-samadhis’ for high order sanyasis in the recent past.
The General Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, Shri Mahant Hari Giri said that the sadus and sants have been working for a clean and pure Ganga since a long time and had started demanding land for ‘bhu-samadhi’ as soon as fingers were raised against the practice of ‘jal samadhi’. “If we get the land the practice of ‘jal samadhi’ will finish”, he assured.
But apparently there is more than what meets the eye as far as the governments’ commitment for saving the Ganga and making it pollution free is concerned. Land is a contentious issue in this small mountain state is concerned, but for the sanctity of the Ganga and the millions who take a dip in it, despite being warned by scientists of the polluted waters, sure.ly a positive step needs to be taken.