Chanced upon this pic that I had snapped quite a few years ago. One of the most brilliant sunsets that I had ever seen, This is from across the Ganga banks in Rishikesh.
First the quote:
On the sandbanks of the river Ganges at Allahabad, bureaucrats and workers from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and one of its poorest, took less than three months to build a tent city for 2m residents complete with hard roads, toilets, running water, electricity, food shops, garbage collection and well-manned police stations…..
…..Devesh Chaturvedi, a senior official who is divisional commissioner of Allahabad, is proud of the “huge task” that he and perhaps 100,000 workers have completed in organising this year’s festival. He mentions 165km of roads on the sand made of steel plates, 18 pontoon bridges, 560km of water supply lines, 670km of electricity lines, 22,500 street lights and 200,000 electricity connections, as well as 275 food shops for essential supplies such as flour, rice, milk and cooking gas.
Wow. I read this through here and here. Both articles attribute it to faith. The fact that the entire administration could accomplish this in 3 months is because of the faith that, this is ‘real’ service to the pilgrims attending the event. This is considered paramount in the Hindu doctrine. Doing service to ‘servitors to God’ is considered higher than serving the God himself – according to the Periya puranam.
While giving me faith that things like this are practically possible to accomplish, I wonder whether it would be feasible. I doubt if the various bickering political parties that fight to rule (and loot) our country, have the inclination. In our country, turning members of one religious community against other, seems to be the most common political mileage gaining stunt. Given this, accomplishing things like the Kumbh mela, based on faith, would just be a dream. Like millions of Indians (who are the receiving end of the Secular Government Tamasha), I do wish the dream come true some time though.