Dr. Veda Pratap Vaidik
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to make government permission mandatory for any religious procession needs to be lauded. These days many States are replicating Yogi’s stern action to demolish illegal houses of rioters and habitual offenders. So why can’t the States follow Yogi’s initiative to regulate religious processions? Sometimes it so happens, the festivals of two religions come on the same day. On such occasions we have seen both the groups come to blows. The participants often forget the significance of the festivals and ferociously engage in physical violence like wild animals. In real terms these warring groups are beasts camouflaged as believers. By the time police forces arrive the hoodlums would have started vandalizing and attacking even the innocent public. Incidents of violent attacks and bloodshed have become common on such occasions.
If the provision of prior permission for taking out processions is strictly enforced, then no one will dare to carry weapons and even a lathy, because the police force will be vigilant and they will have enough opportunity to apprehend the trouble mongers in the guise of devotees. This rule will apply equally to the followers of all religions. The loudspeakers should not be used continuously in such processions. High decibel sound can disturb the public at large.
It needs to be taken care that the participants of any procession should not block the roads for long. Markets should not be forcefully closed for hours together and there should not be any incident of loot or vandalizing, come what may. If such a system is implemented in every state, then the incidents of violence and sabotage will stop totally. These rules should be applied to all types of processions, not just for those taken in the name of religion.
Apart from this, the Uttar Pradesh government has also announced certain restrictions on the loud and intolerable sound from certain Mosques, Temples and Gurudwaras.
The sounds from loudspeakers and other gadgets are so loud and unbearable these days that it becomes difficult to work peacefully from our homes and offices. Perhaps the devotees are trying their luck to reach their voices to God.
Kabirdas commented on this: “*कांकर-पाथर जोड़ के मस्जिद लई चुनाय।*
*ता चढ़ि मुल्ला बांग दे, बहिरा हुआ खुदाय।।*
I don’t know why devotees are admirers of such deafening sounds that could even rupture your eardrum? Don’t they know that their deities Ram and Krishna, Moses and Isa, Muhammad and Guru Nanak never used loudspeakers? Do you think their voice would not have reached God and Allah? Has God or Allah turned deaf these days? Devotees who are keen to listen to the Veda Mantra or Bible Verses or Quranic Ayat or Guruvani will always listen to it peacefully with great love and devotion.
The only doubt we have about those who organize such deafening sounds for others is whether they themselves listen to that voice? Such characters not only harm others but themselves too.
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educationalmissions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.