Blood curdling incidents of stampedes in the country

Shiv Kumar Padha

“We are human beings who totally differ from the animal world where a flock of sheep adapts the same path which their leading sheep go with the result the entire flock fall in the ditch.”
The disappointing incident of stampede, which claimed 130 precious lives and rendered dozens injured, on the fateful day of 2nd July 2024, shook the soul of every human beings. The tragedy subjected the entire nation to mourning which could have been averted had the Sevadars of the religious congregation and the local administration visualized the gravity of the situation seriously and had displayed their professionalism in managing and controlling such unruly mobs which often swarm during such challenging situations.
India has always been leading the humanity on the globe in the field of religion, humanity, spirituality, knowledge and morality. It is only India which is still considered as the Jagad Guru which has got the power to show the path of peace, non violence and love shunning the hate and jealousness. Still many young and old from the western developed countries visit India and attend the classes of discourses and sermons organized by the spiritual gurus. There is no dearth of the spiritual saints in the country who have been disseminating love, affection peace and non violence in the world. But at the same times many Tom Dicks and Harry with the limited knowledge in the field of religion and spirituality trying their level best to proclaim them as the apostle and incarnate of gods only to attract the innocent and gullible masses in order to extend their empires overnight.
India is country where the citizens have the liberty to adapt and follow any religion of their choice, where they have the liberty to repose their full faith and belief in any sector, organization they prefer, where the devotees of different religions faiths and belief attend the religious congregations frequently and get blessed by valuable sermons of their gurus they keep faith on. India is emerging as the largest population in the world where millions of devotees from different religion, faith and beliefs throng the sites of discourse unhesitatingly frequently.
But, as it is said ‘Satarkta Hati Durghatna Ghati’ a slight carelessness can result in any fierce accident. India being a big and large country witnesses many untoward incidents daily where thousands of innocent lives are lost unaware. Many precious lives have been lost in different blood curdling incidents of stampedes and fatal accidents in the past but the recent case of stampede of Hathras UP, where 130 people died during a religious gathering on Tuesday.
The tragedy occurred when the attendants were leaving a “Satsang” lead by the spiritual leader “Bhole Baba”In Phulari village. The incident , marked by sever suffocation and pile up of bodies is one of the worst in recent years. As stated the event was organized by Suraj Pal known as ” Narayan Sarkar Hari “or ” Bhole Baba”.
The Incident which took place on 2nd of July Tuesday at Hathras is not the only one of its kind but there is an endless list of such incidents of stampede which took place in many parts of the country with a heavy toll of human lives in the past. Some of the largest casualties caused by the stampedes at religious gatherings include the death of 340 devotees at Maharashtra Mandhar devi temple in 2005. According to the available data, some of the worst cases of stampede in the country are’
Ø39 lives were lost at the Godaveri river during the kumb Mela
Ø 145 Hindu pilgrims lost their lives at holy shrine of Naina devi in Himachal Pardesh.
Ø The stampede incident of Sabrimaala in Kerala in 2011 claimed 106mlivesind left 100 injured
Ø A stampede during Kumb Mela in UP in 2013 took 42 lives leaving 45 injured.
Ø Around 115 people were killed after a stampede at the rattan Garh temple Madya Pardesh.
Ø Killing of42 people on Feb. 2013 at the Allahabad railway station.
Ø 12 Pilgrims were killed and more thant wo dozen were injured during a dadly stampede at the Vaishno Devi shrine on the intervening night of December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2022.
The cause of all the stampedes in the country are more or less due to the negligence and mismanagement on the part of organizers and the administration responsible for the security during such large un manageable gatherings.
There are many other sects, organizations who have been organizing their congregations efficiently and successfully. It is noticed during many congregations the sevadars not only guide, look into the needs of the devotees help the administration in managing the traffic on the roads, helping the people on the roads, providing them with potable water ,tea, breakfast enroute their destinations. Hats off to such organizations not even a single devotee suffers due to the negligence of their sewadars.
The time has come to check their tentacles from spreading any further, and discourage such self proclaimed Preachers and narrators from befooling the gullible masses and use them as a means of raising their economy for constructing structures over dozens of hectares of land encroached with the political clouts.
The nation has seen how such self proclaimed gods have been using their army of disciples when their so called gurus are convicted of heinous crimes. The people do not forget how the disciples of such self proclaimed gods have been provoked to put the public and private property ablaze and killing dozens as a result of loot and arson in the past. It is reality no such guru can take such harsh steps without the help of their mentors sitting in the parlor of power and politics.
It is observed how some dharma gurus are granted bail or released on Parole before the elections in order to enhance their vote bank. It is good rather advisable to be religious and kind but being human beings we must apply our mind before being swayed away by the dogmas of such incarnations of Gods. We are human beings with an ounce of intellect which we must use before falling in the trap of wolves in the lambs clothing.
It is the proper time for the administration to tighten the noose around such fraudsters before anymore precious lives are lost in such stampeded in the future. We must learn lesson from such incidents and lapses on the part of the organizers and the administration in future.
(The writer is a social activist)

Editorial editorial article