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Posted at: May 27, 2015, 12:12 AM; last updated: May 26, 2015, 10:57 PM (IST)

VHP demands ban on river rafting in Ganga

VHP demands ban on river rafting in Ganga

Sadhvis at the concluding session of the two-day meet of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad at the Shri Ram temple at Bhoopatwala in Haridwar on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Rameshwar Gaur

Tribune News Service

Haridwar, May 26

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and saints associated with it have demanded a ban on river rafting in the Ganga.

They raised the issue on the last day of the two-day meet at the ancient Shri Ram temple at Bhoopatwala in Haridwar today.

Resolutions demanding enactment of laws prohibiting cow slaughter, and river rafting in the Ganga from Gangotri, Devprayag till Rishikesh, use of chemical free urea in agriculture, cleaning the Ganga and construction of the Ram temple at Ram Janmbhoomi in Ayodhya were passed at the meet.

Saints associated with the VHP expressed concern at the excessive use of chemicals and toxics instead of organic urea in agriculture.

The VHP decided to task its activists with generating awareness among peasants about harmful affects of chemical intensive urea, training farmers in using chemical-free urea and optimum use of cow dung and its urine for agro purposes.

Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Swami Krishancharyaji Maharaj presided the second day session. Mahant Suresh Das Maharaj from the Digambar Akhada moved a resolution for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Mahant Dharam Das and Mahant Kanhaiya Das from the Nirvani Ani Akhada supported the resolution and suggested calling a joint session of both Houses of Parliament on the issue.

Juna Akhada Peethadeeshwar Maha Mandaleshwar Swami Avdeshanand Giri Maharaj said the whole country was committed towards the Ram temple in Ayodhya and an amicable solution should be arrived at to ensure its construction.

Swami Gobind Dev Giri pressed for cow conservation, Ganga conservation and the introduction of Bhagwad Geeta in the school syllabus.

Maha Mandaleshwar Kailashand Brahmachari said saints had been quite vocal and active about the construction of the Ram temple and were united in this regard.

Jagadguru Ramanujachara Swami Krishnacharya lauded the working of Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he was a religious person as depicted by his acts of fasting during Navratras, offering Ganga aarti, and gifting copies of Bhagwad Geeta to foreign heads.

He added such a spiritual leader would the right person for the Prime Minister’s post as testified by the fact that no corruption case or scam had surfaced in his one-year rule.

On the Ram temple issue, Maha Mandaleshwar Swami Harichetnanand Maharaj suggested having coordination with the Union government.

The VHP passed a resolution demanding ban on rafting in the Ganga from Byasi-Shivpuri near Devprayag, the confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi after which they are called the Ganga, till Rishikesh.

He said in the name of rafting and beach camping, couples could be seen expressing love openly and consuming alcohol, with liquor bottles littered at camps. “This stretch is important from spirituality and religion point of view as the Ganga takes shape from Devprayag in the Garhwal Himalayas and reaches the plains in Rishikesh.

Not only nullahs, sewers and factories should be stopped from polluting the Ganga but also river rafting in the Ganga and beach camping be banned. Saints meditate on the Ganga banks but these are now being polluted with unethical activities such as river rafting and beach camping,” said Praveen Togadiya.

Sadhvi Santoshi Mata, Sadhvi Matreyi Giri, Sadhvi Chandrackal, Sadhvi Sanyam, and Sadhvi Anadi Saraswati also spoke on religious, spiritual and social issues.

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