With tricolours in hands and a resolve in hearts to make Bharat Mata Jagadguru over a lakh Kanwariyas offer sacred Ganga water to Shiva
Meerut: It was a different Shiv Ratri in North-West UP this year. There was a flood of Kanwariyas on highways and roads carrying tricolours in their hands, wearing T-shirts with words like “Ek kanwar Rashtra ke Naam” (A Kanwar for Nation), “Bharat Mata ki jai” ,”Vande Mataram”, etc inscribed on them; and a 'Sankalp' (resolution) in their hearts to reinstall Bharat Mata on the pedestal of 'jagadguru'. They congregated at the Shiva temple of their choices to offer the sacred water of the Ganga on Shiv Ratri day with chants of 'Vande Mataram' mingled with slogans of ‘Har-Har Mahadev'. They reminded all and sundry that the nation was veritably Mahadev Shiva. And they propitiated Him to make Bharat great again among comity of nations.
The Dharm Jagran Samanvaya Vibhag of RSS, Meerut Prant, struck the novel idea to carry “Ek Kanwar Rashtra ke Nam”. They got printed thousands of saffron T-shirts with these words and also arranged for thousands of national flags. They called upon the youth to make a 'sankalp' in their hearts for the sake of a great Bharat, besides their personal wishes while carrying the Gangajal to be offered on the Shivlingas. The idea proved a big hit among the youth.
Shri Ishwar Dayal, Dharm Jagran Samanvaya Pramukh of Western UP and Uttarakhand, says they had initially planned for about 3000 Kanwariyas constituting 280 groups from as many places of Meerut Prant (14 districts of North-West Uttar Pradesh) to partake in the Yatra. But as it turned out, more than 30,000 from about 350 places took part in the venture. And the number of participating Kanwariyas inspired with the same patriotic spirit making it to the Yatra on their own must have actually exceeded lakhs. “This is a wonderful experience of spontaneous outburst of nationalist fervour among the modern youth,” he avers.
The group of Kanwariyas from Meerut had a number of RSS bigwigs between them. Besides Shri Ishwar Dayal, Shri Dhani Ram and Shri Karm Veer, Prant and Sah-Prant Pracharaks of Meerut respectively joined them from the start. They carried the Ganga Kanwars all the way from Haridwar to Meerut, a distance of about 150 km, on foot with them. Many other functionaries also joined the Yatra. And on other routes, such as Haridwar-Bijnor, Haridwar-Moradabad, the scenario was the same–thousands walking together amidst a sea of saffron and tricolours accompanying RSS workers, chanting 'Vande Mataram' and 'Har-Har Mahadev'.
The Meerut group had a surprise welcome offered to it by a nationalist Muslim lady, Shagufta Khan, a member of BJP Women Wing, coming all the way from Peeran Kaleer, a renowned Muslim pilgrimage centre of Western UP, to Bahadarabad (near Roorkee) along with a band of nationalist Muslims (Kaari Naseem Khan, Mohd. Jamshed, Mehboob Ali and Guddu Chowdhary among others) with sky-renting cries of 'Vande Mataram'. Khan distributed flowers and sweets to all the Kanwarias with affection to touch all hearts.
Like every year, there were hundreds of Kanwar service camps en route to serve the pilgrims. But this year saw a welcome change in that a good number of them displayed pictures of Bharat Mata and patriotic songs emanating there from all through touching the hearts of young and old alike. n Ajay Mittal