PREPARATIONS for Narmada Samajik Kumbh (Social Congregation) are going on war footing at Mandla in Madhya Pradesh. The biggest Kumbh is being held from February 10 to 12, 2011 in which over 30 lakh people from MP, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa, Bengal, Assam and N-E states, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, J & K, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are expected to participate during the three-day event. Fifty nagars (temporary bamboo shades and barracks) are being constructed on a plateau measuring 3500 acres at Maharajpur near Mandla. It is situated on the banks of the river Narmada and bathing ghats are being built at various points for the visiting devotees. The 50 nagars are grouped into six Mahanagars named after great sons of Mother Bharat, viz. Shankarshah-Raghunathshah, Goddess Bamleswari, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Chhatrasal, and Mahishmati (old name of Mandla). Each nagar is also named after great sons and daughters of Mother Bharat. The entire premise is named after Rani Durgavati, the valiant queen of Mandla who fought with the mighty forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar and defeated them.
Ma Narmada Samajik Kumbh is the second such congregation in this new tradition of Social Kumbh. The first was organised at Dangs district in Gujarat in 2006 where over eight lakh people had participated. The seeds for this Narmada Kumbh were sown in 2006 itself when the Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeeth Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati stressed on continuing this tradition of Social Kumbh to create awareness regarding the dangers of conversion, Naxalism and violence and alienation of Janjati people from the mainstream. Shri Mohan Bhagwat, who was then General Secretary of RSS, had also echoed similar views to accelerate the dhammachakra tradition initiated by Lord Buddha. The Shankaracharya had suggested taking forward this tradition of social kumbh from west to east as the religious kumbh moves from South to North. It is in deference to his suggestion this second social kumbh is being organised at Mandla.
The objectives of this social kumbh is to strengthen and consolidate the faith of people in their dharma; to cultivate a strong feeling of nationalism and patriotism and to facilitate social harmony coupled with development. Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh though boasts of a rich cultural and historical heritage dating back to the period of the Puranas, today lacks in development. Besides it is inhabited by the janjati (forest-dwellers) people belonging to Gond, Baiga, Ponwar, Bhil etc. These people are far away from the fruits of modern development and live in remote areas. Their inaccessibility and backwardness have become the canon fodder for the elements who are bent upon breaking the social fabric of Bharatiya society by injecting the ideology of violence in the name of Maoism. The Christian missionaries are serving these people with an avowed aim of bringing them under the Empire of Father in Heaven by converting them to Christianity by resorting to all means. The neglect of these areas by the government and administration has further simplified the cause of these missionaries and Maoists who often work hand in glove in such areas to achieve their common goal. This was amply made clear by the violent incidents in Kandhmal district of Orissa and the killing of Swami Laxmanananda in the recent past.
Organisational Network: People from different states and mostly janjati-dominated area are expected to participate in the Kumbh. Arrangements for their boarding, lodging, and drinking water supply, entertainment, health, etc are being made under the supervision of Sri Digvijay Singh of Jabalpur. A national level Ma Narmada Samajik Kumbh Ayojan Samiti is formed under the leadership of Shri Bhagwan Singh Rol Sahabsar, who is president of Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh, Jaipur. Besides, former Governor of Himachal Pradesh and former Rajasthan High Court Justice Vishnu Sadashiv Kokge, Shri Pravin Bhai Maniyar, (Rajkot, Gujarat), Shri Jagadeoram Uraon, (Jashpur, C’garh), Dr Bhushan Jangde, (Raipur), Sri Prem Singh Marko, (Dindori, MP), Shri Shrikrishna Maheswari (Satna, MP), Srimati Sampatiya Uike, (Mandla, MP), and Padmashri Shrimati Tulsi Munda, (Orissa) are the vice-presidents of the Samiti while senior social activist Rajendra Prasad is the Secertary of this Samiti.
Unprecedented Response: The response evoked by the Narmada Samijik Kumbh Sandesh Yatra in the entire Mahakoshal and Chhattisgarh was unprecedented, Prasad said adding that during the yatra 40 lakh pictures of Ma Narmada, 25 lakh lockets and 18 lakh stickers were distributed amongst the people. He said that instantaneous response of the people was surprising and everywhere there appeared a strong wave in support of the kumbh.
RSS campaign: The Mahakoshal unit of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) undertook a fortnight-long mass contact campaign to dispel the misgivings about Sangh and generate a strong public opinion in its favour. During the 15-day long drive, 28,000 RSS volunteers contacted eight lakh families in all the 19 districts of Mahakoshal region of Madhya Pradesh. They distributed a leaflet explaining the RSS stand on issues like terrorism, J & K and Ayodhya in reference to the recent diatribe launched against us by certain section of media and the Congress party. Besides, this opportunity was used to collect food grains from the citizens for the kumbh.
Sharing the experiences of this campaign with this correspondent Mahakoshal Prant Pracharak of RSS Shri Rajkumar Matale said that they were overwhelmed by the spontaneous response of the people from all walks of life. Especially, the response of those living in shanties was spectacular and noteworthy. People had so much faith in RSS that they even did not bother to discuss about the allegations leveled against us by the politicians and media. On the contrary, some of the prominent Congressmen confessed that they had to criticise RSS because of their political compulsions. But they have high regards for RSS in their hearts and believe that RSS was patriotic organisation to the core.
The programme was attended by prominent religious personalities of Jabalpur such as Mahamandaleshwar Swami Dr Shyamdas, Mahamandaleswar Swami Akhileswaranand Giri, Swami Pagalanand, Swami Mukunddas, Swami Gyaneswari Didi, RSS Vibhag Sanghchalak Shri Kailash Gupta, Mahanagar Sanghchalak Advocate Prashant Singh, and others were prominently present on this occasion.