Justice Katju on Makar Sankranti

Today is Makar Sankranti, one of the main bathing days at the sangam ( confluence of rivers ) in Allahabad ( Prayagraj ), my native town.

Sometimes I cry when I read these lines of the great Urdu poet Munawwar Rana ( in his book Mohajirnama, which expresses the anguish of the mohajirs who had migrated to Pakistan ) :

” Woh sangam ka ilaaqa chhoota ?

Ya chhod aaye hain ? ”.

They describe my anguish too, since I left Allahabad ( where I had spent most of my life ) permanently in 2004 on being appointed Chief Justice of Madras High Court.

Goswami Tulsidas has written in Ramcharitmanas :

” Ko kahi sakai Prayag prabhau

Kalush punj kunjar mrigrau ”


” Who can tell the greatness of Prayag ?

It destroys all sins, like a lion which kills an elephant ”


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