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Haridwar Stampede November 8, 2011 – 16 dead – Do We Care?

A religious program organized by Gayatri Parivar as part of the birth centenary celebrations of Yugrishi Acharya Shriram Sharma attracted thousands of Hindus and it resulted in a stampede killing 16 dead. Haridwar had successfully conducted a Kumbh Mela, which attracted millions of people, in 2010. So what happened in 2011?

Kumbh Mela attracts world media attention and Hindus around the world keep track of the Mela – so the officials were alert. Not a single life was lost in stampede.

This time around it was not a major event but the five-day ritual attracted nearly 400,000 people. Chief Ministers, central ministers and other officials were participating in the ritual which promotes women chanting the Vedic Mantras.

Official apathy is the reason for such stampedes. Before giving permission for such events, officials should first take care of the security and life of the people participating in the event.

Temple stampedes during festivals and auspicious days are nothing new in India.

Wai Temple Stampede in Maharashtra in 2005 – 265 dead

Naina Devi Temple tragedy in 2008 – 145 dead

Chamunda temple at Jodhpur 2008 – 147 dead

63 dead after a temple gate crashed in UP in 2010

100 dead in Stampede in Sabarimala in Kerala in January 2011 ...the list is endless.

At this moment we can only pray for those that lost their precious lives in the tragedy at Haridwar on November 8, 2011.