Kumbh Mela was celebrated grandly last month in Himalayan town of Haridwar, gatherings of about 9.1 million people all across the nation and even world were present to take a dip in holy water. And the question arises among us, “is it the right time for that?” As answering it turned out to be a “super spreader” of our worst fear.
Kumbh Mela is celebrated near the banks of ganga in Haridwar. It is believed that a drop of nectar has fallen in this region. So every 12 years once pilgrims around the world arrive at this spot and dip in the river Ganga, by doing so it is believed that their sins will be washed away ,health conditions will improve and prevent them from further health problems because of the presence of nectar in that region.
But Corona seems to have it’s own plan, 2,642 devotees have been tested positive, including a handful of top religious leaders. It’s just the official data, the real count can go higher than that considering the reputation corona has got. With that many people dipping in the ganga, numbers fall short to count.
Shravan Rathod, a well known Bollywood composer died shortly after returning to home from Kumbh Mela in Mumbai hospital. Akhilesh Yadav, former chief minister of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state, and Nepal’s former King Gyanendra Shah and former Queen Komal Shah, were among those who tested positive after returning home.
The worst part about this is that people believed if they had got any corona infection, it would be washed away by holy river. And the results were quite contradictory from their thoughts.
Panic surged in few of the states seeing such a huge gathering. They made the refugees from Kumbh to stay quarantined for 14 days and they immediately imposed a RT-PCR test for all those who had been visited to Haridwar for the fest and strict actions were taken on those who didn’t reveal the places they had visited after the fest.
But it’s hard to track each individual who visited the temple. There are only a few databases of the pilgrims who visited the fest. It’s a practically impossible task.
Currently after all three days of Kumbh mela, Uttarakhand COVID cases have risen up to 1800%. Any individual would know how big is that number. Indeed Kumbh mela happens to be a “Super Spreader”.
Many blame politicians for this rise. From giving permission to the Kumbh mela to organising it without following any strict protocol. It’s too much of a risk and the nation is paying the price for that.
Kumbh mela is not to be blamed alone, the election campaign at this time was also one among the issues. All together India has 2.3 Cr active COVID cases with 2.5 L death count.
Kumbh mela is not the issue but the timing and the people’s careless attitude is the issue. Instead of blaming politicians or any pilgrim leader if we had done our part well, maybe corona would have left us for good.