Saints to approach HC over ban on idol immersion

Saints have decided to approach the Allahabad High Court against the ban on immersion of Durga Puja idols in Ganga and Yamuna rivers in Allahabad. At a press conference here on Thursday,Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeeth Swami Vasudevanand and Shankarachya of Kashi Sumeru peeth Swami Narendranand said they were opposed to the ban imposed by the high […]

Written by Express News Service | Allahabad | Published: October 11, 2013 5:03 am

Saints have decided to approach the Allahabad High Court against the ban on immersion of Durga Puja idols in Ganga and Yamuna rivers in Allahabad.

At a press conference here on Thursday,Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeeth Swami Vasudevanand and Shankarachya of Kashi Sumeru peeth Swami Narendranand said they were opposed to the ban imposed by the high court as it was against traditions that are thousands of years old.

The saints argued that pollution,which is supposed to be caused by the immersion of idols in the rivers,was a misconception. They said the idols are largely made of clay that settle down in riverbed.

When asked about the chemicals used to paint the idols,the saints said its percentage was very less.

Incidentally,the saints have been campaigning for a clean Ganga for the past few years. “Moreover,if that is causing so much pollution in the river,then why are other sources of pollution — the sewers,tanneries and other industrial effluents — not being stopped? The high court itself has been issuing several orders asking the authorities concerned to put a stop on these well-known sources of pollution. But nothing has been done so far. The authorities are not presenting the true picture before the high court,due to which it has passed an order that would have an impact on the traditional practice related to people’s faith,” said Swami Vasudevanand.

“Both the Shankaracharyas are in consultation with other saints. They would approach the high court praying it to reconsider its decision by Friday,” said O N Tripathi,an aide of Swami Vasudevanand.

The ban also has some puja committees worried as to whether the administration would be able to find suitable places for immersion of idols. Bangali Welfare Association of Allahabad has also approached the high court.

The high court has asked the district authorities to submit an affidavit by Friday on alternative sites chosen for idol immersion.

On October 7,the high court had refused to extend the time granted to district authorities in Allahabad and Varanasi to find alternative sites for immersion of idols. This brought into effect the ban that was imposed by the high court last year itself.

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