The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) now wants a ban on rafting in the River Ganga. It alleges that rafting camps are hubs where people “mingle, drink and indulge in objectionable activities on the banks of river, where sadhus and sants gather to meditate.
After a two-day meeting of its national advisory board in Haridwar on 27 May, the VHP leaders said river rafting leads to many “illegal activities” in the holy town of Rishikesh.
A resolution was passed by the VHP 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.
“The stretch is important from spiritual and religious point of view as Ganga takes shape from Devprayag in the Garhwal Himalayas and reaches the plains in Rishikesh. Saints meditate on the banks of the river, but these are now being polluted with unethical activities such as river rafting and camping,” said VHP chief Praveen Togadiya.
Apart from the demand for the rafting ban, resolutions demanding enactment of laws prohibiting cow slaughter, use of chemical free urea in agriculture, cleaning the Ganga and construction of Ram temple at Ram Janmbhoomi in Ayodhya were also passed.