Issue of levying surcharge on railway tickets during ‘Kumbh Mela’ : Pro-Hindu organizations had demanded through ‘Rashtriya Hindu Andolan (RHA)’ for cancellation of surcharge !
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Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh) : In the background of ‘Kumbh Mela’ starting soon here, Union Railway Ministry has now cancelled the surcharge proposed to be levied on railway tickets for visiting Prayagraj for ‘Kumbh Mela’. A letter to the above effect was recently received by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) from the said Ministry.
Various pro-Hindu organizations led by HJS had unanimously demanded in October 2018 through demonstrations staged under aegis of ‘Rashtriya Hindu Andolan (RHA)’ in some of the districts of Uttar Pradesh, withdrawal of surcharge levied on railway tickets. HJS had also submitted a memorandum to the above effect to Railway Ministry and government officers from various places. The Ministry has finally informed HJS through a letter about cancellation of surcharge.
Points mentioned in memorandum submitted to Railway Ministry in October 2018, by various pro-Hindu organizations
1. Railway Department has decided to levy surcharge on devotees going to ‘Kumbh Mela’ starting from 14th January 2019 at Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh). Surcharge of Rs. 10/- is to be levied for travelers travelling in general compartment; Rs.20/- for 3-tier AC; Rs. 30/- for 2-tier AC and Rs. 40/- for first AC compartments.
2. This decision is like creating deliberate limitations on Hindus’ pilgrimage and it is quite infuriating. Millions of devotees gather here and such ‘Kumbh Mela’ is the biggest religious program held in the world; therefore, instead of providing proper facilities for such ‘Mela’, the Government is levying surcharge on Hindus; visiting the place in large numbers.
3. The Government extends various facilities for religious pilgrimages of non-Hindus but never levies surcharge. Hindus have to thus undertake journey in their own country as if they are slaves and restrictions are imposed on them.
4. The decision to levy surcharge taken by Railway Ministry is most unfair, discriminatory and hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. This decision has created anxiety amongst Hindus.
5. All religions are expected to get equal treatment under secular system but it does not seem to be so in case of Hindus. Railway Ministry should therefore, immediately cancel the surcharge levied on tickets going for ‘Kumbh Mela’.