Vrindavan, 2014.10.02 (VT): The proposal to merge Vrindavan in Mathura has outraged the saints and priests of Vrindavan. They have pledged to go any extent to stop the amalgamation of the two cities including the villages around these towns. They left the option open to hold demonstration and moving to the court if required.
The Brajwasis, saints and the local residents gathered at the Tehriwali Bagichi to oppose the merger proposal of these two towns which has a big cultural gap. The Braj-Vrindavan Hertiage Alliance (BVHA) called this meeting to make a strategy to tackle such a demonic issue which will challenge the very identity of Vrindavan. Presiding the meeting Baba Sewak Sharan said, “If we allow Vrindavan to be merged with Mathura then all our efforts to make Vrindavan a heritage town will go in vain.”
“The merger is totally unacceptable. You can’t simply merge these two towns and the small villages around them just for the sake of making a municipal corporation. The Vrindavan Municipality should be empowered, and given a special status to maintain it as a pilgrimage and heritage town,” said Swami Maheshananda Saraswati.
Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami said, “The Vrindavan Municipality was formed 150 years back in 1865 by the British government. A local body governing Vrindavan existed even before the British period. The Mughals formed modern Vrindavan, including three maujas (small settlements) of Dhaurera, Dusayaj and Rajpura in 1598. If they wanted, they could have made just one Municipal Corporation in Mathura in the first place. But they paid respect to Vrindavan’s cultural and spiritual essence to keep its identity undisturbed.” Goswami ji added, “The demography of these two towns is not matched.”
“The government’s policy has never been in favor of Vrindavan. Whichever government came in power didn’t do justice to this divine abode. Despite the ban on selling the fish, meat, egg and wine in Vrindavan they are still being sold in here. The consumption and sale of these items will spread rapidly if Vrindavan is amalgamated in Mathura,” said saint Fuldol Bihari Das. He exhorted, “We can’t allow this to happen even if we have to shed our lives for this cause.”
Swami Devswaroopananda, Mahant of the Soham Ashram said, “We need to work on a war footing to oppose this proposal. It is part of a big conspiracy to destroy the Dham. The nexus between the politicians, bureaucrats and the real estate agents has prompted them to propose the formation of Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam by merging the two municipalities.”
Dr. Laxmi Gautam said, “The formation of the Nagar Nigam including all the villages will encourage the change of land use. The villages will be transformed into urban settlements. The Vraja 84 Kos Parikrama villages and forests will be diminished.” She further commented that the gopis of Vraja never stepped in Mathura, although it was part of the political kingdom of Vraja.
Ram Narayan Brajwasi, Vice President of the Panda Maha Sabha, said, “The supporters of the Nagar Nigam are luring us by suggesting that the Nagar Nigam will bring development to Vrindavan. We don’t need this so-called development at the cost of our religious faith, ecology and identity.”
Pt. Damodar Shastri said, “If the Mathura District Administration doesn’t take back the proposal, we shall not shy from staging dharna against it, which is our constitutional right.” He warned that the Brajwasis would not sit quietly and witness the destruction anymore.
Dr. Om Ji, a well-known Vrindavan educationist , suggested, “Constituting a Vrindavan Shrine Board is the only answer to the problems of Vrindavan.”
Gau Sevak Acharya Alokji and Pt. Tota Ram Upadhyay questioned the intention behind unauthorizing the village panchayat’s consent if it wanted to amalgamate in the “proposed urban structure.” Madhumangal Shukla proposed to move to the High Court against the merger of Vrindavan and Mathura.
Brajnath Goswami said that he was pained to hear this new conspiracy of the District administration. He assured his full support with the BVHA. Jagannath Poddar from Friends of Vrindavan offered to initiate a signature campaign. He apprehended if the Nagar Nigam is formed then the rights of the elected representatives in the corporation will be brought to a limit.
The BVHA unanimously decided to lodge its protest to all the concerned parties engaged in the process of merging Vrindavan with Mathura before taking any legal action. It was also decided that another meeting will be convened within a period of two weeks in which a larger number of people will participate including members of the Vrindavan Municipal Council.
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