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This was stated by Lenin Raguvanshi, a lay activist in Varanasi. He denounces the participation of Naga sadhus, ascetic warriors who parade armed with swords and tridents, "militarizing" a religious moment as important as that of the Kumbh Mela. It is "urgent and necessary" to prohibit the participation of these individuals, and stand against the caste system, "to give dignity" to Dalits and tribals.
» 01/15/2013 12:02
Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Maha Kumbh Mela, the biggest festival of the Hindu religion, is an exhibition of "violence and extremism" rather than a sacred time for millions of people according to Lenin Raghuvanshi, lay activist and director of thePeople's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (Pvchr) Varanasi. It is an opportunity for the armed bands of Naga sadhus, responsible for killing many Buddhists in India" to meet, he says, "reaffirm inequality proclaimed by the caste system" and to promote drug trafficking. Just today, police in Allahabad seized a jeep carrying 124kg of ganja, destined for the Kumbh Mela.
The Maha Kumbh Mela is considered to be the largest gathering of humanity on earth: this year, it is expected to attract more than 100 million people. Precisely because of the large number of faithful who take part, according Raghuvanshi "welcoming naga sadhus" means "highlighting extremism and violence. These ascetics march in procession with swords, axes, whips, pitchforks and flails. They walk barefoot, wearing only garlands, chanting slogans in honour of the god Shiva (Har Har Mahadev) and brandishing their weapons while immersing themselves in the river. " For the activist, it is "urgent and necessary" that "this militarization of religion, sodomy and drugs are banned from such a context."
Rather, he said, "people should speak out against the caste system." Among the participants of the Maha Kumbh Mela are indeed thousands of Musahar, originally of tribe of Bihar and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh, relegated to the bottom rung of the social ladder. They live in extreme poverty, and often survive feeding on rats, which they kill to protect crops.
"Like them - says Raghuvanshi - tens of thousands of tribals and Dalits participate in the Kumbh Mela. In their prayers, the Hindu leaders must stand against the caste system and in support of the poor. Unless we affirm the dignity and equality of these groups, this will become a place which confirms their subordination and oppression, even in the 21st century. " "Religion and spirituality - he insists - must be a force for change and development of society and the nation, and enhance the dignity of every human being. The Kumbh Mela should address these issues," and not give way "to all forms of abuse and violence, supported by Hindutva ideology".
Born in Kalady, in Kerala, Shankaracharya is said to have left home at age five and travelled across India to create the Dashnaam Sanyas ashrams primarily out of Giris (mountain sects), Puris (from towns/cities), Saraswatis (priests), Van-Aranyaks (forest hermits), and Sagar (seaside sects). Realising the need of shaastra (knowledge) as well as shastra (weapons), Adi Shankaracharya made shaastra the preserve of the acharyas and shastra the "ornaments" of the Nagas. It was these militant Nagas who were instrumental in "winning back" Hinduism from Buddhism.
The work of PVCHR was awarded with the Gwangju Human Rights Award 2007, ACHA Star Peace Award 2008 and 2010 Human rights prize of the city of Weimar in 2010 and Usmania Award from Madarsa Usmania, Bazardiha for the development and welfare of education.read more
Basic rights for marginalized groups in the Indian society, e.g. children, women, Dalits and tribes and to create a human rights culture based on democratic values. PVCHR ideology is inspired by the father of the Dalit movement, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.read more
Indians society, especially in the rural areas, is still influenced by feudalism and the caste system which continues to determine the political, social, and economic life of the country. Caste based discrimination is practiced in the educational system...read more
Collective decision and Individual accountability
Fighting caste discrimination
The life narratives, voices, and actual experiences on this website reflect the spiritual awakenings of personalities extraordinaire who desired to make a difference in the lives of others. The passion for social justice and meaningful activities, the dedication to compassion, the commitment and healing journeys of those ordinary individuals and their stirring stories is what we intend to showcase.
PVCHR founded in 1996 by Mr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi in close association with Sarod Mastro Pandit Vikash Maharaj, Poet - Gyanendra Pati and Historian Mahendra Pratap. PATRON: Justice Z.M Yacoob Sitting Judge Constitution Court of South Africa & Chancellor of University of Durban, South Africa.