Every year in the month of July, the country’s elite, especially those residing in Delhi, get extremely disturbed. July coincides with the Hindu month of saavan or shrawan, and brings with it Kanwariyas, crores of them, thronging the streets. The likes of ‘senior journalists’ like Arathi Jerath, are forced to pose the question ‘Kanwar Yatra: Spiritualism or Street Party?’ on TV channels like NDTV. I can only sympathize with them, as their distress is well founded. There is more than one reason to hate this thing called ‘Kanwar Yatra.’ Don’t believe it? How can an innocuous tradition be so disruptive to the upper echelons of the society? Well, here’s why:
- It is a part of Hindu religion. As we all know, this is one of the oldest and most disgusting religions in the world, not like the modern secular ones like Islam and Christianity.
- It is a public display of bhakti. This of course is to be despised. Public display of affection is fine. But bhakti is a psychological disease, which should be discouraged if not shunned. They look so blissful, it makes others depressed just to see this spectacle.
- All that orange! Orange/saffron colour is favoured by Kanwariyas in their attire. This specific wavelength in the visible spectrum is the most damaging to the human eye, even more than UV radiation.
- The bhajans played by the kanwars are the cause of noise pollution. And chants like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bum Bum bhole’ are of course dangerous and incite violence (Bum=Bomb).
- The people going for Kanwar Yatra are all jobless, obviously, otherwise who in their right mind will travel thousands of kilometers by foot, when there is not even a medal to be won, like in Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. They are a nuisance to the society. They would be better engaged in petty crimes rather than making the lives of Lutyens miserable.
- They disrupt the traffic! How dare they make the elites wait in their AC cars, while they travel barefoot to their destination, without sitting, without resting. They have no right to use the roads for this. Let me clarify: as citizens of India, unfortunately they do have the right to use the roads, but there should be special laws banning this once a year pilgrimage. Namaz of course is absolutely fine, as it is a symbol of cultural harmony and happens 5 times every day. It beautifies the surroundings, hence it is offered on the streets instead of in mosques.
- Lastly, Kanwariyas represent the faceless masses whom these elites try so hard to ignore. This Kanwar Yatra is a yearly reminder of their existence, a rude realisation that the common man of India is still unaffected by the unending tirades of the likes of NDTV journalists. Who would want to be reminded of their failure in such a vulgar, in-your-face way?
So, let us try at least, to understand these poor souls. If anything, their criticism of Kanwariyas is far too mild. Arathi Jerath is just too kind to compare it only to a street party.
And last but not the least, Bum Bum Bhole!
PS: The article is written in sarcasm. If you don’t know what that is, you should google it.
Cover Photo: Wikimedia Commons