Preparations for Vishwa Mangal Gow Gram Yatra are in full swing across the country. The Yatra will begin from Kurukshetra (Haryana) on Vijayadashami Day (September 28) and will conclude in Nagpur on Makar Sankranti Day in 2010. It will cover a distance of 20,000 km in 108 days and there will be over 400 prominent events at different places during the Yatra.
According to Shri Hukumchand Sanvla, national vice president of the organising committee, the Yatra will visit all the four Dhams, all seven Puris, all twelve Jyotirlingas, various holy places, rivers and mountains. There will be three grand chariots in the Yatra—carrying a grand statute of the cow on one chariot, literature related to the cow and the village development on the second chariot and the senior saints on the third one.
Various leading saints of the country including Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Gokarna Peethadheeshwar Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Sant Morari Bapu, Acharya Mahaprajna, Acharya Vijay Ratnasunder Surishwar Maharaj, Acharya Vidya Sagar Maharaj, Namdhari saint Jagjit Singh Maharaj, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche and all the four Shankaracharyas will lead the Yatra. Chief of Gayatri Parivar Dr Pranav Pandya is chairman of the organising committee. Dr HR Nagendra, Vice Chancellor of Vivekananda Yoga University, is working president. Shri Shankarlal, Shri Diwakar Shastri and Shri Meghraj Jain are national secretaries.
The saints are going to give a joint call to the countrymen—Chalen gay ki or, chalen gaon ki or, chalen prakrati ki or, chalen gram rajya se Ram rajya ki or (turn to the cow, village, nature and from gram rajya to Ram rajya). The saints will also administer a pledge to the farmers and the villagers to adopt the cow-based farming and not to sell the cow and its progeny to butchers at any cost.
Some sub-yatras will also be conducted in villages, which will join the bigger yatras to be conducted at taluka, district and state levels. There will be about 15,000 such yatras and they will cover a distance of about ten lakh km. When the sub-yatras join the main Yatra the signatures collected from the people will be handed over to the senior saints. The signature campaign will be conducted in over five lakh villages of the country. Over 21 crore people of the country are expected to give their assent over the memorandum, which will be presented to the President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil demanding the total ban on cow slaughter, status of national animal to the cow and implementation of the existing laws against cow slaughter. According to an estimate, more than 50 crore people will resolve to protect the rural culture, villages and the cow through the Yatra.
Many leading religious and social organisations of the country including Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Mission, Gayatri Parivar, Bharat Swabhiman Trust, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, VHP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, etc. have extended their total support to the Yatra. According to RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, the swayamsevaks are working tirelessly to make the Yatra a big hit. It is a massive movement to protect the cow, develop the villages and bring prosperity and happiness in the nation. It is an agro-socio, economic revolution and the real independence movement, which will spread the message—“Save the cow, save the nation, save the world, save the village and save the nature.”
“The overall objective of the Yatra is to restore happy life in the world. Bharat is the soul of the world, village is the soul of Bharat, agriculture is the soul of village and the cow is the basis of our agriculture. When we connect all these links we find that the cow is the soul of the whole world. But the cow is being slaughtered all over the world and farmers are compelled to commit suicide. The whole world appears to be treading a disastrous path. If we have to live a happy life, the cow slaughter has to be stopped forthwith and the atmosphere of self-respect has to be developed for the farmers. The best way to protect the cow is that every family of the country resolve to protect it,” says Shri Sitaram Kedilaya, Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh of RSS.
Shri Kedilaya further said, a revolution has to be created in villages through the Yatra. “In other words, we have to develop love and affection in the hearts of rural youth who are migrating to urban areas and those, who have already migrated there, have to be motivated to return to their villages. The work of village reconstruction has to be resumed in rural areas through this Yatra. Infusing a sense of true love towards land, water, forest, property and traditional rural culture is the prime objective of the Yatra. Basically, all these things are facing the biggest threat in villages today,” he said.
He described the Yatra as the real freedom struggle. He said the freedom that the country achieved about 62 years ago was just political. Now after 62 years, the saints have decided to recreate the similar swatantrata sangram (freedom struggle) all over the country. “We need to return to the villages and the nature to live a healthy life. The whole world is today worried about global warming and there is a move all over the world to save the soil, forest, water and the nature. The people of the world have realised that if they have to stay fit they will have to live according to the rules of the nature,” he added.
No political party, organisation or community will formally lead the Yatra. Only the gobhakta saints will lead it. The saints will educate the people to love the cow, grow organic foodgrains, fruits and vegetables. Families will also be advised to become gopremi. That family will be called gopremi, which feeds the cow everyday and contributes to the goshalas. There will be a pictorial exhibition highlighting the different aspects of the cow and its progeny in the Yatra.