Akhada Parishad divided over inclusion of ‘Kinnar Akhada’

Differences have emerged within Akhada Parishad over the inclusion of transgender or ‘Kinnar Akhada’ as the 14th unit in the apex body of the existing 13 Akhadas.

The Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, the apex body of the 13 Akhadas, is divided on giving recognition to ‘Kinnar Akhada’ as the 14th Akhada and thereby allowing them the sacred Ganga dip during Shahi Snaan (Royal Bath) in Haridwar Mahakumbh.

While Akhada Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri has termed ‘Kinnar Akahada’ along with ‘Pari Akhada’ and ‘Vishwa Akahada’ as fake and having no resemblance to official 13 Akhadas, a section within Akhada Parishad has stood in support of the Kinnar Akhada.

Notably, in a recent meeting of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad held at Prayagraj, a resolution was passed regarding non-recognition of so-called Kinnar Akhada, Pari Akhada and Vishwa Adhyatm Akhada terming them as a fake Akhadas.

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Led by general secretary of Akhada Parishad Mahant Hari Giri Maharaj, this pro-Kinnar Akhada has warned of giving resignation if the Parishad doesn’t give recognition to Kinnar Akhada before Haridwar Mahakumbh.

“I will resign from Akhada Parishad as I have given them a written assurance of their inclusion in Shri Panchdash Nam Juna Akhada and thereby privileged right to take holy Ganga dip during Haridwar Mahakumbh. Kinnar Akhada also took bath along with Juna Akhada during Prayagraj Kumbh two years back and it’s apt for them to be recognised as an integral part of the Akhada Parishad,” said Hari Giri Maharaj.

Opposing Kinnar Akhada inclusion, Akhada Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri said there are only 13 Akhadas and that is what will continue to be the case.

“It is not apt to meddle with Akhada customs and age-old traditions. Whether it is Kinnar, Pari or Vishwa Adhyatm Akhada, they don’t have any Kumbh lineage, historic, religious, spiritual and mass acceptance. These are fake bodies and Akhada Parishad opposes any privilege, recognition or facilities for them during Haridwar Kumbh,” said Akhada Parishad chief Narendra Giri.

Urging Akhada Parishad to change its rigid stance over non-recognition, Kinnar Akahada’s Mahamandaleshwar Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi said that they are also followers of Sanatan Dharma and will duly abide by Akhada norms and traditions.

“Akhada Parishad should be progressive, flexible and futuristic in its view. We also hope Uttarakhand government will provide us with facilities and due land allocation during Mahakumbh as is done for other Akhadas,” said Kinnar Akhada’s Mahamandaleshwar Lakshmi Tripathi.

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