There has always been an allegation that Hindu sannyasins (monks) remain apathetic to society on the whole but how abominable that is it has been proved by the valorous struggle of Swami Nigamananda Saraswati, succumbed to death recently owing to his long fast against illegal mining notorious for polluting the river Ganges.
Venerable Swami Nigamananda Saraswati, it has come to the knowledge, had been fasting for four months at a stretch to save river Ganga and finally died at around 2 pm on June 13, 2011 at Jolly Grant Himalayan Institute Hospital in Dehradun. The 34-year-old Swami had been fasting for 115 days in Haridwar.
The name of Swami Nigamananda Saraswati was not known to many people beyond his acquaintance till the other day but his single-handed protestation has awakened lots of people by now. He was a member of Matri Sadan and had initiated his lone struggle, to make the reluctant governance acknowledge the grievous reality and act fast accordingly, from February 19. However, his health started deteriorating from April 27, 2011 and all these compelled the authority to admit him at the district hospital. Thereafter, he went into coma (comatoseness) and had to be admitted to Jolly Grant Hospital in Dehradun on April 27, 2011 in a very critical condition.
What did inspire Swamiji to act such? Matri Sadan, known as his mentor too, and its views must be explained at this hour. Struggle of Matri Sadan, in a nutshell, to save Ganga from illegal mining is not new and has been going on for last 12 years. And this way of struggle was not anything new to Swami Nigmanand. Anecdotes confirm that he had also fasted from Jan 20, 2008 till April 1, 2008. There was a great success at that time. His vigorous campaign and protest made then government outlaw stone mining. But this unlawful saga started once again and with more vigor than the past.
It was then the turn of Swami Dayanand to do something; he fasted for 30 days in March 2009 to call illegal mining going in full swing then a halt. All these indicate sannyasins in Matri Sadan remain alert of the changing reality and are ready to struggle at any time.
Swamiji is no more but we have got carry on the movement. River Ganga is the cradle of Hindu civilisaiton and hence, her sanctity can’t be compromised.