Making history: 'Kinnar sadhvis' take bath at Kumbh

Making history: 'Kinnar sadhvis' take bath at Kumbh

 Indian sadhus (Hindu holy men) take a dip into the water of the holy Sangam during the auspicious bathing day of Makar Sankranti at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. AFP photo

Breaking age-old orthodoxy and religious barriers, 'kinnar sadhvis' (eunuchs) on Tuesday made history when they, along with other 'akharas' (sects), took the holy dip in the 'Sangam' at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.

Chanting 'Har Har Mahadev', hundreds of 'sadhvis' of 'Kinnar Akhara' marched to the banks of the 'Sangam' with the seers of 'Juna Akhara' on the occasion of 'Makara Sankranti' and performed the 'shahi snan' (royal bath).

It was for the first time that 'kinnar sadhvis' were allowed to join the 'shahi snan' with other 'akharas' of the country.

Earlier, the All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP) had refused to grant recognition to 'kinnar akhara' citing religious restrictions. The 'kinnar sadhvis', however, remained adamant on taking part in the 'shahi snan' and later the 'kinnar akhara' was merged with the 'Juna Akhara'.

''Our long fight for recognition has finally yielded positive results...we are very happy today,'' said Luxmi Narain Tripathi, a senior 'sadhvi' of the Akhara after taking the holy dip.

Tripathi said that the 'Kinnar Akhara' would continue to maintain its separate identity despite merging with the Juna Akhara.

'We are human' 

''We want the religious leaders to realise that being a kinnar is not a crime...we are like any other human being,'' she said.

The 'Kinnar Akhara' had been formed by Bhavan Nath Valmiki a few years back. Bhavan, who was born in an SC family, had formed the 'akhara' to enable her community to practice the rituals of 'Sanatan Dharma'.

The 'kinnar sadhvis' remained the centre of attraction for the millions of devotees, who flocked the Sangam bank for the holy bath on the first day of the 45-day Kumbh, which ends on March 4. 

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