We have often heard a famous saying about the Kumbh Mela- “Kumbh ke mele me bichad jana” (i.e. people often get lost in this mela). But Kumbh Mela is not always about losing things. Sometimes it about new found identities. The Kinnar Akhada found a new identity and a spiritual way to lead a normal life.
The Kumbh mela has been an event of mass pilgrimage that the world witnesses. This fair/mela takes places at four designated places on rotation after every 12 years. The four places are Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik – Triambakeshwar and Ujjain. Holy dips are mostly taken across the holy river. This year the Kumbh Mela has been set up in Ujjain along the Shipra river in Madhya Pradesh.
With already 13 recognised akharas at the Kumbh mela which are authorised by the Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad, a new akhara is to join the dip of spirituality. Though not recognized by the Akhada Parishad, the Kinnar Akhada believes that it doesn’t need any verification to take a holy dip in the Nagri of shiv as heard quoting in BBC Hindi. The Kinnar Akhada joins the mela with a hope to have a better understanding of god and his being. Kinnars have gone through a lot of hardships to maintain and prove their integrity. Due to the societal pressure, they are still away from the main stream life. Since the past few years, India has become acceptable to transgenders and is bringing them back to mainstream life.
Kinnar Akhada is one such great initiative. In their own words, “Kinnar Akhada is an initiative to spread humanity across all sections of our society, especially kinnar society also known as kinnar samuday. Kinnar Akhada in Ujjain is a group of social activist, spiritual gurus, kinnars and other people who want to take part in this society transforming event.” The Kinnar Akhada is dedicated to bringing humanity at the centre of the development process so that no section of the society remains underdeveloped or untouchable.
We often forget that we are all humans beings first. We were born not to judge. Only to love and be loved! Read this beautiful article from Kolkata Diaries in which the author talks about a real life incident and the discrimination faced by transgenders in the society-“She had all eyes on her…”.
-By Upasana Singh