Ujjain: Keeping aside sentiments of devotees and creating mis-arrangements, the local administration tried to propagate a message that RSS and BJP as well as wives of senior police and civil officers were priority for them during the first Shravan month traditional procession of Lord Mahakal on Monday.
Though the procession passed out from the chalked routes peacefully, apathy of socio-voluntary workers and manhandling of some people invited sharp criticisms. Before start of the procession at about 4 pm from the Mahakaleshwar Temple, customary worship of the Lord Mahakal’s replica was held at the newly-constructed Sabhamandapam.
But, to facilitate persons of their choice, the administration vacated the hall which can compensate about 400 persons at a time at around 3 pm. Even hardly 5 to 6 media persons were allowed to reach there for coverage. Those who were obliged this way included senior RSS executive Vinod Kumar, Parag Abhyankar and others. Central Simhastha Fair Organising Committee chairman Makhan Singh Chouhan, mayor Meena Jonwal, MLA Mohan Yadav, State Jan Abhiyan Parishad vice-chairman Pradeep Pandey were present.
Besides them, divisional commissioner MB Ojha, IG Rakesh Gupta and DIG Raman Singh, collector Manish Singh along with their wives and close relatives were also present. A number of deputy-collectors and officials of other departments also managed space for them in the Sabhamandapam along with their wives and friends.
These persons were in so haste that the worship which usually ends at about 3.55 pm ended at about 3.45 pm this time and they also shouldered the palanquin to come in photo frame. Later, they put the palanquin on the floor which drew everybody’s attention as it was an open violation of the tradition.
High barricades, which are generally put-up across the road to control the crowd management, were placed on the entire route of the procession. It lead to various inconveniences as children failed to witness the proceedings and even women and senior citizens were seen complaining again such arrangements. At Ram Ghat, high barricades doubled the inconveniences of people.
Unnecessary police force deployed here and there created panic as there was comparatively low turn-out during the first procession. Devotees standing on either sides of the procession route and those also who were accompanying the procession appeared quite disciplined, but in the name of making arrangements policemen were seen indulging in unwanted disputes with them. In the name of making smooth arrangements, the police authorities brought those police officers from constable to inspector rank from elsewhere who were transferred from Ujjain some days ago.
RELIGIOUS PERSONALITIES IGNORED
Ruckus was created at Ram Ghat when Sant Balyogi Umeshnath was disallowed to enter the Ranojiki Chhatri gate so that he can reach Ram Ghat. Later, the entry gates were opened, but no arrangements were made to provide proper respect to the religious personalities like him and even no respectful place was fixed for them so that they have darshan of the palanquin. Similar treatment was given to other saints and displeased over the same Kinnar Akhada Acharya Mahamandleshwar Laxminarayan Tripathi registered strong protest in front of SP Sachin Atulkar and other authorities.
SOCIO-VOLUNTARY WORKERS FEEL NEGLECTED
Probably it was for the first time in the recent history of Mahakaleshwar Temple that socio-voluntary workers who extend their services free-of-cost for the entire year were almost sidelined by the concerned authorities. Setting a new trend this year, these workers were noted invited for the preparations of procession.
Moreover, none of them were intimated to come and render their services during the procession. Irked over it, a number of veteran workers find it suitable not to be part of the government arrangements. Workers like Madanlal Lalawat (former BJP mayor), Ashok Prajapat (former State Matikala Board chairman), Diliprao Gorkar, Qutub Fatemi (former corporator), Ravi Rai and Devvrat Yadav (former Congress corporators) expressed deep resentment over the neglect and apprised the collector about the same.
Likewise, services of Congress Seva Dal, Seva Samiti and Scouts and Guides were also not taken which resulted into huge gaps in the procession and delays. Ignorance of public participation in procession arrangements also lowered the traditional glow of the event.
CONSTABLE SLAPS CONG PRESIDENT
Lower rung policemen made all types of excesses here and there in the presence of senior officials and even in command of an IPS officer. City Congress Committee acting president Vivek Yadav alias Vicky was slapped thrice at Ramanujkot. Zila Panchayat president Mahesh Parmar also had to face hurdles to reach Ram Ghat as the policemen present declined to identify him. He was allowed inside only on the behest of BJP leader Vishal Rajoria. This type of indecent treatment was also met with several other dignified persons.
OFFICIALS ENJOY EVERTHING
Though the royal procession of Lord Mahakal will be taken out later on, the civil and police officials along with officials of other departments looked over-enthusiastic to enjoy the over-privileged things during the very first procession. Wives of at least 15 such officers were present at the Ranojiki Chhatri.
The Ujjain Municipal Corporation had set-up a special tent there so that the officials and their wives can enjoy the things. They were also served tea, coffee, biscuits, mineral water, etc. On the other hand, no potable water arrangements or even mobile toilet facility was made available for the public. As the junior officers captured the chairs at first floor of Ranojiki Chhatri, divisional commissioner, IG and DIG found it better to reach Chhatri’s balcony situated on second floor to enjoy the moments.