- The fear of facing the massive human gathering
Every time Simhastha Kumbha Mela witnesses one of the largest gatherings of humanity on the face of earth. Millions of people, including the holy saints, mahants, mahamandaleshwars and devotees gather there for the holy bath and for other hindu rituals. Many people consider the millions of people gathering at a single place during a specific time as a threat and hence avoid going to one of the most divine celebrations of faith; the holy Kumbha Mela. Their main concerns include the possible occurrence of stampede, fear of getting lost in the gathering and most of all, the likelihood of a terror attack during such a gigantic human assembly.
2. Poor management by the concerned authorities
Many doubt the authorities with respect to the crowd management during the festival. A large capital and a dedicated team is required to handle such a massive crowd and it seriously can be an issue if not handled properly by the concerned authorities. Creating an ephemeral town on the ghats of the holy river and maintaining it for the period of one month during which millions of people will take a dip in the holy river is undoubtedly a huge task. Basic needs including water, food and tents for living need to be arranged which is a major task in itself.
- Fear of acquiring infection/epidemic diseases
Due to immense crowd converging at a single place, some people also believe that this could lead to transfer of communicable diseases as people come from various backgrounds, environment, and climatic conditions. Also, the place of Kumbh Mela is new for many, due to which many devotees get bothered regarding the environment related health issues.
- Hygiene Issues
Kumbh Mela sees millions of people living together for a month long period in a temporary town. Creating and settling in this transient town with limitation of space and moreover taking bath in the sacred river, often leads to arousal of hygiene related issues among the visitors of Kumbha Mela. Some even consider the risk of catching water borne or air borne diseases due to the unhygienic environment.
- Fear of Aghoris (as they feed on corpses at times)
They certainly are one of the most feared and respected group of naked holy men in Simhastha Kumbha Mela. Many people across the globe are terrified by the extreme practices of Aghoris or the Naga Sadhus. They are believed to be feeding on putrefied human corpses, animal faeces, rotten food and drink animal urine. It is also said that they can see the future and are the most mysterious group of sadhus.
- Coming out of your comfort zone
In accordance with the usual belief, living in Kumbha Mela Kshetra is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires sacrifices to be made with regards to leaving the comforts of your house and staying along the banks of the holy river in temporary tents with compromised basic facilities like water,sanitation, food and a proper place to sleep.
- Being afraid of getting mugged
People from all background and social status attend the holy festival of Kumbha Mela. They doubt the security and often tend to feel unsafe. Many of the devotees hold this opinion that there might be robbers and pickpockets coming at the Kumbha Mela. They set this fear in their minds and further avoid visiting the largest religious festival.
8.The suspicion of a terror attack
This is a general belief that people often avoid crowded areas, as there might be a possibility of a fatal terrorist attack. Some pilgrims decide on not attending the Kumbh Mela due to this particular assumption.
Author – Priyal Matreja