Shocked and dismayed at the February 10 stampede reportedly resulting in 38 deaths and injuries to dozens of Kumbh-Mela pilgrims at Allahabad, Indo-Americans are highly critical of frequent occurrences of deadly stampedes at religious gatherings in India.
Distinguished Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although India was on track to become a global power but even could not handle a domestic event properly and had yet to come up with a foolproof plan to manage large crowds.
India failed or refused to learn lessons from the previous stampedes as these continued to happen. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies, Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, pointed out while expressing grief over the loss of lives at February 10 stampede.
Rajan Zed further said: Our hearts and thoughts go out for the victims and their families and we are all in shock over this unimaginable loss. He called for prayers for the victims of the tragedy and their families.
Zed argued that it clearly reflected on India and Uttar Pradesh governments who appeared to have failed to properly manage a highly popular pilgrimage.
Rajan Zed demanded apology from India and Uttar Pradesh governments for failure to prevent this preventable tragedy, adequate compensation for the affected and their families, and action against the negligent officials.
Zed also appealed to India’s billionaires/millionaires, who had enormously benefitted from India’s economic growth, to come to the aid of the victims and their families. Quoting scriptures, Zed said that charity was a duty, which should be undertaken with sympathy and modesty.
India should better manage her festivals as stampedes were relatively common at India’s pilgrimage centers where large crowds gathered in small areas with very little or no crowd-control or safety measures, Rajan Zed added.
An estimated 30 million pilgrims gathered to take a dip at Sangam on February 10, considered the most auspicious day during the “Kumbh Mela”, the 55-day pilgrimage assembly of Hindu devotees in India termed as biggest spiritual gathering on earth, which began January 14. About 100 million pilgrims are expected to participate in the Mela.