Moneycontrol PRO
LIVE NOW:Streaming Live - ‘Irrelevance of Bull & Bear Markets for Success in Technical Analysis’
you are here: HomeNewsIndia

Kumbh Mela 2021: Largest sects of seers exit festival after PM Narendra Modi's appeal

Kumbh Mela 2021 has been at the centre of a controversy amid fears that it could be a super spreader event, with millions flouting rules to take a dip in the River Ganga.

April 19, 2021 / 11:02 AM IST
Kumbh Mela 2021 (Image: Reuters)

Kumbh Mela 2021 (Image: Reuters)

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal on April 17 that the ongoing Kumbh Mela ‘should now only be symbolic’ amid the second wave of COVID-19 cases in India, most camps housing seers now wear a deserted look.

Prominent Sanyasi Akhadas including Juna, Atal, Agni, Ahavan, Niranjani and Anand have announced the closure of the Kumbh for their seers, according to a report by The Times Of India.

Many of these seers have left Haridwar or will leave on April 19 as curbs on movement were being imposed on Sunday. “We do not want to risk the lives of the seers and pilgrims coming to Haridwar at a time when COVID-19 cases are rising phenomenally. Therefore, a collective decision was made regarding the closure of the Kumbh by our Akhada," Mahant Hari Giri of the Juna Akhada told the newspaper.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the coronavirus pandemic

On April 17, PM Modi said that he had spoken to Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha president Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj – a top seer – over the phone and made the appeal regarding the Kumbh Mela. The event is being attended by tens of thousands of devotees.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

The ongoing Kumbh Mela has been at the centre of controversy amid fears that it could be a super spreader event, with millions flouting rules to take a dip in the River Ganga.

senior seer died due to COVID-19 and scores have tested positive for the infectious disease after attending the religious congregation. Images and footage from the Kumbh had shown thousands of pilgrims congregating for the event and could be seen ignoring COVID-19 safety norms.

In pictures | Celebs who expressed dismay over Kumbh Mela amid pandemic

Seers of the Bairagi and Udasin sects have reportedly decided to stay on at the Kumbh mela to participate in the last 'shahi snan' (royal bath) on April 27. However, the 13 largest sects of seers have collectively decided to pull out of the religious festival.

Several states have started imposing restrictions and measures for those returning from the Kumbh.

India has recorded more than 2.73 lakh new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours – highest one-day rise so far. Around 19.29 lakh cases remain ‘active’ in the country as of April 19.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 19, 2021 10:59 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark