The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which organised a gathering at Ramlila Maidan Friday afternoon to celebrate Ram Navami, hit out at the Delhi government for “inconveniencing devotees” by implementing phase II of the odd-even scheme on Friday. However, many devotees who visited temples across the city felt otherwise.
Addressing hundreds of devotees wearing saffron turbans, and carrying swords and saffron flags, the VHP said this was an “anti-Hindu” move by the government. VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said, “By launching the odd-even scheme on Ram Navami, the anti-Hindu face of the AAP has been exposed. Why has a scheme which is meant to be applied for 15-days being implemented for 16 days this time? The scheme could have been easily implemented a day after Ram Navami. This has inconvenienced all Hindus who planned to visit temples on the occasion.”
Incidentally, most cars parked at Ramlila Maidan were odd-numbered.
Less than 5 km away at Birla Mandir, a family of seven found no reason to complain. Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Vaishali, decided to give his even-number plated car a miss and instead took a taxi to visit the temple “We decided to take a taxi because of the odd-scheme. This is a great initiative by the government. The least one can do is help them implement it,” said Kumar.
Other devotees at temples such as ISKCON and Akshardham shared similar sentiments. Pooja Verma, a resident of Ghaziabad, said, “We have an even-number car but my daughter decided to drive us around. We went to 3-4 temples today in Kalkaji and then came to ISKCON. Even if my daughter could not drive us, we would have taken a taxi. Why would we not support this scheme? This has been implemented for our good. Who does not want to live in a cleaner city?”
In the parking lot of Akshardham Temple, non-CNG and even-numbered cars were barely visible. H P Pohriyal, who is part of a group visiting the capital for a family wedding, said, “We took the Metro and taxis to visit temples today. We are staying at Punjabi Bagh. This is a good step by (Arvind) Kejriwal to curb pollution. We did not face any problems in commuting.”