Monday, July 24, 2006

The economics of Kanwarias

If you live in North India, then you are not untouched by this phenomenon called "Kanwarias" during the month of Saawan.

An article analyses the phenomenon well. I do not deny the devotion many people have and can come to terms with their religious sentiments. I also agree with the the viewpoint of violence and aggressive Hindutva.

However the article misses out on a major point. The real reason for the swelling number of Kanwarias every year is actually economic. The free food and excellent servics available make a large number of people take up this ardous task. If one were to remove all the free food from along the way and make people pay for it, then the number of devotees would come down to half or may be even less.

I am not saying that food should not be served. Just that a large number of people would not go if it were not for the free food. If the food were paid, a large number of people, who can afford the food, would still not go.

Till this yatra flow subsides, Delhi traffic is a nightmare. I recently spent 1.5 hours for a 13 km journey. What a nightmare, sweating it out on a Delhi road :(

Bhole Baba, Kuch Hamara Bhi Khayal Karo!

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