Kanwar yatra: Yogi orders pruning of ‘inauspicious’ trees, says no vulgar songs
The CM gave the directive while chairing a meeting to supervise arrangements for the kanwar yatra beginning on July 8. Over 3 crore devotees are expected to participate in the annual pilgrimage.Updated: Jun 30, 2017 17:53 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed pruning of ‘gular’ or cluster fig trees considered inauspicious by devotees participating in the kanwar yatra.
The CM gave the directive while chairing a meeting to supervise arrangements for the kanwar yatra beginning on July 8. Over 3 crore devotees are expected to participate in the annual pilgrimage.
This is the first time a chief minister supervised arrangements for the kanwar yatra that is an annual feature during the Shravan month of Hindu calendar.
Reviewing the arrangements, the chief minister directed that trees like ‘gular’ (cluster fig) that devotees consider inauspicious should be pruned, a first of its kind decision.
“It’s surprising, for ‘gular’ is a medicinal plant and is even used during yagnas. May be the pruning order is due to the fact that gular is a dense and full tree with its branches almost touching the ground. May be the order is to ensure that the vessel filled with holy water doesn’t get damaged,” said Acharya Chintamani Joshi, principal of Meerut-based Sanskrit Degree College.
Yogi has also asked the officials to meet kanwariyas before the yatra and explain the dos and don’ts while they are on the move.
Since the police have also received ‘non-specific intelligence inputs’ regarding possibility of violence, orders have been issued to install CCTV cameras at sensitive points of the yatra. Drones too will be used to keep a watch on the yatra.
Additional director general of police, Meerut zone, Anand Kumar said, “Thirty companies of paramilitary forces along with civil police of the zone would be deployed on the yatra route.”
Western UP has for long been a sensitive point, as lakhs of kanwariyas who fetch ‘Ganga jal’ from Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand converge at the historic temples of Augharnath in Meerut and ‘Pura Mahadev’ in Baghpat to offer it to Lord Shiva.
“During the last five days of the yatra, helicopters would monitor traffic for four hours,” the ADG said after attending a joint meeting with the officials of Uttarakhand in Saharanpur.
No vulgar songs
The chief minister has also asked officials to ensure that kanwariyas aren’t allowed to play ‘vulgar film songs.’ “They will be allowed to play only bhajans and not film songs that are either vulgar or provocative,” the chief minister said.
Seven districts of Meerut zone – Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and Shamli are most affected during the kanwar yatra from where communal tension has been reported in the past.“Loud and provocative DJs have often led to trouble so this time DJs per se may not be allowed or encouraged,” a police officer said.
Appreciating the advice of the chief minister, Qari Shafeeq of Milli Council said,” Playing film songs loudly is against religious ethics and the chief minister ‘s guidelines in this direction will help in creating better a religious atmosphere during the Yatra”.
The Uttarakhand government has banned DJ in Haridwar and Rishikesh during the yatra. The issue was also raised in the meeting of the officials of both states for preparations and coordination during the yatra.
VHP leader Sudarshan Chakra Maharaj said that kanwariyas should restrain themselves from an undesirable competition of playing loud DJ. VHP leaders and activists were also educating the devotees to not adopt practices which were against ethics and to create a religious atmosphere during the yatra instead of making it troublesome for others, he said.
First Published: Jun 30, 2017 16:45 IST