Skip to main content

Was Kumbh advanced by a year to please astrologers, setting aside pandemic danger?

By Mohan Guruswamy
Kumbh Melas are held every 12 years. The actual due date for the ‘current’ Kumbh Mela at Haridwar was 2022, not 2021. Because the last Haridwar Kumbh Mela had been held in 2010.
So how did it get advanced by one whole lethal year? Let me tell you the reason.
It was ‘advanced’ by a year, to 2021, because the ‘astrological configurations’ of the ‘Sun entering Aries’ and ‘Jupiter entering Aquarius’ were available for 2021 this time. This happens once every 83 years, and it happens because of the need to reconcile astrological configuration charts to calendrical years. The calculative arcana of this ‘adjustment’ is beyond my capacity. I suggest none of you try it if you don’t want to give yourselves a headache.
So, not only did the Government of India, and the Government of Uttarakhand NOT cancel the Kumbh Mela, which they could easily have done, so as not to endanger the lives of millions of people by causing a super-spreader event for Covid 19; they also need not have let it take place this year at all in the first place, simply because this is the 11th, not the 12th year, since the last Kumbh Mela at Haridwar. They could have used this time to create the conditions where holding an event like the Kumbh Mela could have made some kind of sense, maybe, in 2022.
Instead, they did much worse. They, in consultation with that circus of clowns of the Hindu religion called the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, ‘advanced’ the date from 2022 to 2021, knowing fully the dangers of pandemic, because some ‘astrological mumbo-jumbo’ told them that this was desirable. Because, you know, ‘Aastha/Faith’, that beloved article that makes the Supreme Court reward criminal trespass with a building plan, is also what makes the Governments of India and Uttarakhand do what they must to put peoples lives in danger on a grand scale.
Epidemiological studies always indicate that a possible second wave of infection is worse than the first. The Kumbh Mela is a historically documented site of the spread of contagion. You don’t need to have a PhD in Public Health to guess that an occasion like a Kumbh Mela Shahi Snan is a possible epicentre of a second contagious wave, which given the conditions of the Kumbh Mela, would most likely turn into a Tsunami of disease. That is exactly what has happened. Everybody in India, and frankly, in the world, is now at risk because of the result of some key stupid decisions by some key idiotic men. The Chinese government may have been responsible for a degree of understatement of actual figures at the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic, but they took steps to contain it, and they certainly did nothing to amplify it. The regime that rules India has taken steps that have led to a huge rise in infections. This could have been avoided. Unlike the Chinese regime, this time, the Indian state cannot even pretend to say that it was caught unawares by the outbreak of a disease. Not only was it in command over all the knowledge necessary to know that there could be a second wave, but also, by letting the Kumbh Mela happen, by actually making it happen during a time when it did not even ‘need’ to happen, it actively took steps to create the conditions for a second wave. History will judge the men who rule this country today, and the holy men at their side, as a bunch of cynical mass murderers, or as dangerously deluded fools.
And all this, when the vaccination programme has barely gotten underway. There is no way by which anybody can justify the holding of mass gatherings of the scale that the Kumbh Mela entails at this time. The same goes for elections, which an Election Commission possessed of a spine and a brain could have easily insisted on postponing. But that was not to be.
So, have Kumbh Melas been advanced by a year before? Yes they have, in 1938, and in 1855, when similar ‘astrological configurations’ were in place.
Are we living in 1938, or in 1855? Was there an airborne viral epidemic around in 1938? There was actually a cholera epidemic around in 1855, and the Kumbh Mela that year did amplify the disease hugely. This people knew even then, though their understanding of epidemics was much less than it is today. The International Sanitary Convention of 1866 in Istanbul - specifically looked at reports of disease spread from the Kumbh Mela locus.
Was this, now, in 2021, when we know so much more about disease than we did in 1938 or 1855, not an occasion for a rational, sane, government to use all its persuasive power to convince a bunch of self-appointed ‘holy men’ that maybe, just for this time, they could put ‘astrology’ in abeyance, and rely simply on the calendrical calculation of a twelve year interval between two consecutive Kumbh Melas?
Was this not one key instance where there could have been a rational, sensible dialogue between ordinary reason and faith - that could have helped save lives? Perhaps, given that all the astrologers of India put together are unable to come up with an explanation, based on their ‘discipline’, for how and why a pandemic of this nature broke out when it did, this would be a little bit of a reason to let ‘astrology’ take a bit of a back seat, just for a while, especially when it comes to the taking of major policy decisions like whether or not to commit government support to a super-spreader event.
No. How could it have been so. There are elections to win, and the support of Holy Circus Clowns is crucial, as ever, as are the opportunities to make money off contracts and advertising revenue for an event that can hold millions captive to disease and to mammon.
These, dear Indians, dear Hindus, are your leaders and your holy men. They are your mirrors and your death-wish.
Best of Luck. The stars, indifferent in heaven, feel no need to laugh at you. Frankly, no matter what you think about them, they don’t even fucking care about you.
COVID-19 vaccines go through many tests for safety and effectiveness and are then monitored closely.
---
This article was posted on the author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Conceived as infrastructure, western approach 'not fit' for building Indian cities

By Arjun Kumar* A recent webinar on Rethinking the City, organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, even as stating that Western concept of city cannot be applied on India, insisted, urban areas were conceived as infrastructure, disregarding the actual inhabitants who live in there. Those who participated in the webinar included Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani, Faculty and Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The session was initiated by Tikender Singh Panwar providing the context on the current state of city planning in India. He emphasized the need for more sustainable models in order improved urban habitation. Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani focused on two important factors that force us to rethink the city as a construct and a space of habita

As Afghan economy crumbles, West working out emergency plans for 'cash airlifts'

By MK Bhadrakumar*  The Taliban is getting many suitors lately. It is far from the “pariah” that the Biden Administration thought it was destined to be. During the past month alone, the Taliban received six suitors from the region and beyond offering courtship – the foreign minister of Qatar; the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan; the High representative of UK Prime Minister; and the foreign minister of Uzbekistan who visited Kabul on Thursday.