Thane, Jan 15: Shankaracharya Swarupanand Saraswati today lashed out at the Congress-led UPA Government for failing to protect the Ganga from pollution, and said it was giving "undue importance" to the Anna Hazare-led anti- corruption campaign.
"Undue importance" was being given to the agitation by Anna Hazare, while the most important issue of conservation of the Ganga had been pending for years, he said here.
"This one man held the entire country to ransom and even the Government fell for him," the seer said, apparently referring to the 74-year-old social activist. "People in media have glorified him. Your (media) have great powers in your hands and can do a bit for the sake of the Ganga," the Shankaracharya of Jyotish and Dwarka Sharda Peeth said.
The pontiff said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to take up the issue of Save Ganga' seriously. The seer said he would adopt all possible methods of non-violence to achieve his goal of protecting the holy river and tour the entire country for the sake of his cause.
It was unfortunate that the Ganga, which flows through five states, has become totally polluted. More than 35 crore people reside on the banks of the river. Even the areas near the Ganga are totally polluted as water percolates and enters resources like wells and ponds, he said. The Government of Uttarakhand, from where the Ganga originates, has also failed to save the river. Ganga should be declared as the national river so that it can be preserved and protected properly, the seer said.