Art & CultureIndia

In-depth Kumbh Report – Part-II

By Mayank Gandhi

Millions of people, thousands of temporary ashrams of saints and temples, air full of havans, hymns and prayers. While there may be charlatans, fake sadhus, power politics and egos- what i observed was something very interesting.

There are crores of people of all creeds and castes – they can enter any ashram, meet any saint, eat together in community kitchens spread across the kumbh. No distinction.

There are all kinds of saints – brahmin, kshatriyas, vaishya and shudras. There are men, women and transgenders. There are people from all parts of the country and the world. Sikhs, sufis, jains, Buddhists, some muslims too. Anyone and everyone searching for the TRUTH.

The hierarchial, caste structure of Hindu society is not visible anywhere. Whenever one attends any lectures or speeches, all we hear is about searching the underlying unity of all beings. There may be exceptions, but too few and far.

The media reports regarding discrimination and separation based on stray incidents seems so distant and false. The proponents of divide-and-rule are trying their best to find and accentuate faultlines in our society. But, Hindu society seems to be truly moving in the right direction – of overcoming caste differences and searching for unity among all castes and religions. Its a long and arduous path, but in the kumbh, it seems as if the saints are showing the path.

Much needs to be done, but we are on the way.

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