The Sangh Parivar organised at least 500 big and small shivirs (camps) for Kanwariyas, 148 with government permission, along the Haridwar-Meerut-Ghaziabad (186 km) route, reaching out to a little more than a crore Kanwariyas. The camps proved a great help to the pilgrims carrying the holy Ganga water to be offered at the Shiva temples in Meerut and Ghaziabad.
“We had sought permission for 200-odd camps but were granted for only 148,” said Arun Jindal, senior RSS functionary.
Framed photos of Lord Shiva, the Tricolour in different sizes and items of daily use were sold at these camps. “Kanwar shivirs this year made the experience memorable. The all-pervading spirit of patriotism and religious fervour was infectious,” said Ramveer, who came from Mathura to participate in the event.Ramveer’s companion Deepak, who came from Eta district, said he was overwhelmed to see a jatha carrying a 101-metre-long Tricolour along with the holy water.
“Emotionally charged, I bought the Tricolour and encouraged other to do so too,” he said.The jatha carrying the 101-metre-long national flag on a trolley was led by a Meerut-based Swayamsevak Dharamveerji. “Is there anything wrong in inculcating patriotism in people during religious events,” he asked, with an air of arrogance.Backing Dharamveerji, Surya Prakash, Prant Sangh Chalak said, “This year’s success has encouraged us to expand our efforts in the coming years. We are poised to do well.” Concluded