India's law and order takes a backseat during the festive season
26 July, 2014
If you haven't ever observed what the heading says, just visit the Delhi-Haridwar highway during the Kanwar Yatra, an annual pilgrimage of disciples of Lord Shiva. And those, who were spectators of what happened late night during Shab-e-barat, when thousands of bikers superseded the law in the name of communal celebration, know it all.
India, a country
which is home to multiple religions and customs,
is renowned for religious celebrations, be it the Ganesh
Visarjan of Maharashtra, Durga Puja of Kolkata, or the Kumbh
Mela of Haridwar and Allahabad. The rich heritage calls
numerous travelers from around the world every year, yet the
only area of pain is the stumbled law and order state during such
Three men on a
single bike, and sometimes even four, travel the distance
to fetch holy waters of Ganges River, which can later be offered
to Lord Shiva. The Kanwar Yatra sponsors open contravention
of law, which is allowed in the name of devotion
towards the Almighty.
Every year, newspapers cover the
instances of nuisance by the Kanwarias who are
fearless of the police and binding laws of the land. Similar milieu
can be observed at other ceremonies, which reveals how
helpless our authorities are when rules are broken owing
to religious beliefs.
For instance, when
the bikers were harassing the general public during the
midnight of Shab-e-barat on the roads of the capital, the
policemen did not dare to take any corrective actions.
we prefer putting an end to the celebrations, which
have been the most sparkling jewel of our crown,
or the show must go on in the same manner? For
sure, the Kanwar Yatra, Shab-e-barat, and Durga Puja are
the times when our spirits move closer to the Almighty, hence an
end to celebrations would mean end of India’s and Indians’
The second option
too cannot serve any purpose in the light of what has been
happening in the name of faith. The general public is
not just the sole sufferer, the policemen and other
officials also bear the burden of unwarranted
freedom allowed during such periods. And the
nuisance created by the group of devotees saves them owing
to the fact that the group has no individuality.
Then, what can then
be a workable solution?
The constitution of
India renders supreme power to the law and prohibits any special
perks to a particular cluster. Hence, rules, be it
transport laws, civil laws, criminal laws, or the pollution
laws, shall be accorded supreme place during all
Can you think of a
time when motor vehicles without any authentic documents
drive freely on Indian roads? Yes, during religious
celebrations. The police and other authorities are assigned
the task of easing the surroundings for the devotees,
should also be delegated the power to curb any unlawful
practice. Law shall treat all alike; and remember,
the earlier we anticipate this concern, easier it
would be to execute the plan of action.
the participants have to be all of us. Our customs and
rituals are the roots of our very existence; however in
no way do they support nuisance and unauthorized behavior. Plus, when
a particular community rejoices any sacred ceremony, others in case
they cannot be cooperative shall not be destructive.
governments, distinct legal departments, social and
religious leaders, and such other stakeholders of
the society need to play their all important part. Nothing
can be expected unless a clear and tough message is disseminated in
the public that rituals would not be allowed to
supersede the law of the land and once the scene is set to
welcome positive changes, believe me, our festivals
and celebrations will become even more joyful and
This article is categorized under
Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely
those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of
merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click
to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
A Chartered Accountant by profession and Director on the board of Punjab National Bank (PNB), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC). Dr. Sunil Gupta is working flawlessly for the economic and social prosperity of India.