In Uttar Pradesh, Kanwariyas ‑ devotees going for an annual pilgrimage to Haridwar – were treated like heroes this year. A video that is being widely shared on social media shows the additional director general of Uttar Pradesh Police (Meerut Zone) diligently showering rose petals on ‘Kanwariyas’.
Yogi Adityanath-led UP government had decided, in July this year, that helicopters would be used to shower flower petals on ‘kanwariyas’ to keep them “in good spirits”. However, that clearly didn’t soothe the enraged yatris’ spirits since a few of them vandalised a car in West Delhi on Wednesday on their way back.
To ensure Kanwar Yatra passes off peacefully, ADG Prashant Kumar Sir and Commissioner Chandra Prakash Tripathi seen inspecting security by showering flowers from helicopter. pic.twitter.com/wiymquZZrL
— Unofficial Sususwamy (@swamv39) August 8, 2018
This year, a special mobile app was also designed for the devotees. “This app is specially designed for ‘kanwar yatris’ and it will guide them about basic facilities such as toilets, medical camps, medical stores, police stations and eateries along the route,” he said. The authorities even imposed a ban on the open sale of meat along the route taken by the ‘yatris’.
This is not the first time such elaborate proceedings were made to greet the ‘kanwar yatris’. In 2017, Adityanath had instructed that the ‘gular’ or cluster fig trees be pruned as they were considered ‘inauspicious’ by devotees. It was the first time a chief minister had supervised the arrangements for the ‘yatris’.
This is how social media reacted:
Is this happening in a secular state and is this what police is supposed to do? First grovelling at Yogi’s feet and now showering flowers at Kanwariyas?
— NoToSilence (@akdwaaz) August 8, 2018
In other countries, they pay a vendor to do aerial show. Here we save tax payers money.
— Balgit Sharma (@BalgitSharma) August 8, 2018
Is this a damage control? @adgzonemeerut Prashant Kumar shower flower petals from a helicopter on Kavad in Meerut. Earlier, ADG law & order Anand Kumar said, “crime rate falls during Kanwar Yatra”. pic.twitter.com/Nthin3Tbgs
— Arvind Chauhan (@arvindcTOI) August 7, 2018