Agnivesh Advises Elderly Hindus to Refrain from Yatra

‘Put an end to modern forms of slavery, save religion’

SRINAGAR: Renowned social activist and Arya Samaj leader Wednesday came down heavily on the ‘affulent’ Hindu pilgrims for exploiting poor labourers during their Yatra to the Amarnath Cave in Kashmir.

“National news papers have carried pictures of some Amarnath pilgrims being carried on the shoulders of some poor labourers.  This is highly undignified, in fact nauseating.  It reminds us of the hand pulled rickshaws of Kolkatta of yester years which have since been banned. Each one of these pilgrims of Amarnath is being carried by at least four able bodied labourers.  I can imagine the rich pilgrim paying to the poor palanquin bearers.  But the moot question is, can we for such reasons allow manual scavenging, albeit for some payment? Don’t such feudal inhuman practices bring bad name to our country and more so to our religion?”

Agnivesh urged upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to such modern form of slavery. “The rich but disabled pilgrims may be better advised to stay at home and take care of their aged parents or such other elders.  Vaidic Dharma teaches us the true way of performing Teertha: Matri devo bhav, Pitri devobhav, Acharya devo  bhav  – worship the living Mother, Father and Teacher.  Why instead we waste our energies and money to undertake such risky and hazardous journeys in the name of pilgrimages.  Let us hope good sense will prevail for all pilgrims in course of time but we cannot wait to disband the practice of modern day slavery,” he said. CNS

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