Sants yet to decide on holy dip

Published on Jan 29, 2006 12:47 AM IST

PROMINENT SANTS camping in the Magh Mela here refrained from taking any decision whether or not to take a dip in the Ganga here on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya falling on Sunday, even after confirming that the water was neither potable nor fit for bathing. Instead, they deferred the decision till midnight to once again check the quality of water.

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None | By, Allahabad

PROMINENT SANTS camping in the Magh Mela here refrained from taking any decision whether or not to take a dip in the Ganga here on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya falling on Sunday, even after confirming that the water was neither potable nor fit for bathing. Instead, they deferred the decision till midnight to once again check the quality of water.

Jyotispeethadheeshwar Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati and Swami Hari Chaitanya of Teekarmafi, took this joint decision around 3 pm after personally inspecting the water at the sankalp site where they had vowed earlier to free the Ganga from pollution. They were accompanied by hundreds of saints.

Sources said prominent sants themselves might not go for a dip in the Sangam on Sunday, but they were wise men who did not want to shake the faith of millions of devotees who come annually from across the country and abroad.

During inspection, the sants found a slight increase in the water level, but it still looked dirty. This confirmed their allegation that the river water mainly contained drainage and sewage water that was mingling in it all along its course from Hardwar to the city of Prayag. What agitated them further was the reported death of a seer Abhai Ram Das representing Khak Chowk while having a dip in the river. This news agonised hundreds of sants as rumours spread that the death was caused due to heavy pollution in the river.

Meanwhile, Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischilanandji, authorised Swami Hari Chaitanya to take a final decision on this crucial issue. On the other hand, a number of sants, including Swami Nritya Gopal Das of Ayodhya, Shankaracharya Narendra Nandji and Mahant Madho Das,  declared their decision to stay away from taking a dip on this auspicious day because of the poor water quality.

Holding the Centre and State government responsible for the river pollution, they said none of them would take a dip even next year during the Ardh Kumbh if the river was not freed from pollution. They said they were not opposing the Ganga, but were against its contaminated water, which was continuously poured into the river at various places.

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