Categories
India

Kumbh Mela resounding success because of PM: Yogi

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has shared the ‘secret’ of the much-appreciated Kumbh Mela of this year. In an interview with television channel News18 on Wednesday, the chief minister said that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had given him the idea of an elaborate ​​and yet successful celebration of the festival.

Yogi Adityanath said, “The Prime Minister drew my attention to Kumbh and said, ‘In 2019, it has to be organised on a grand scale.’ We had a year and a half to prepare for it. He had expressed a desire to make it global.”

Adityanath also expressed his plan to include the Kumbh Mela in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List. He said that his government was thinking about making this event global following the prime minister’s dream.

‘World praised Kumbh Mela, 2019’

Yogi said that, on 9 May, the prime minister had said that India had been praised globally for the best administration of Kumbh, the world’s largest religious confluence. Modi said at an election rally in Prayagraj that crores of people from all over the world had come to Kumbh. At the congregation, Modi had reportedly said, the government had made such a smooth system that the world was praising India.

Modi had inaugurated all plans and programmes related to Kumbh. He had said that successfully organising the world record-making event would build the right image of the country. Such events create a good image of Uttar Pradesh as well, he had told Yogi Adityanath.

The religious-cultural event was held in Prayagraj from 5 January to 4 March.

Yogi further said, “It is my privilege that the Kumbh started with the worship of the Ganga performed by Prime Minister Modi. All the schemes and programmes related to Kumbh were inaugurated by him.”

‘I take guidance from PM before taking big decisions’

“It was great that the prime minister was present at the conclusion of the Kumbh Mela, too, where he praised our cleanliness, security and administration. He washed the feet of sanitation workers and set a great example before the whole country,” Yogi said during the interview. When asked about his relationship with the prime minister, the chief minister said, “We don’t talk on a day-to-day basis, but when I must make big decisions, I follow his guidance.”

Categories
India

Dalit head sadhu wants ‘ghar wapsi’ of converted SC, ST, OBC

Prayagraj: A Dalit sadhu, right after getting the title of Mahamandaleshwar of an akhara, has announced he would endeavour to bring all members of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC communities who converted to Islam and Christianity back into the Hindu fold.

The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad gave Saint Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri the title of the first Dalit Mahamandaleshwar (first saint from the Scheduled Caste fold and one of the heads of the akhara). Kanhaiya Prabhu, while taking the holy dip by sadhus called the shahi snan at the Sangam in Prayagraj on the first day of Kumbh Mela, expressed his desire to make all Dalits, STs and OBCs who, after fear of exploitation, have left the sanatana dharma (meaning “eternal values”, a reference to Hinduism, which some object to due to its foreign etymology) and adopted Buddhism, Christianity or Islam.

Kanhaiya Prabhunand had been inducted into the Juna Akhara following the sect’s tradition last year. He said, “I want all those members of my community who adopted Islam, Christianity and Buddhism due to inequality to be back to the sanatana dharma. I want to show them how the old akhara has embraced me. ‘ Kanhaiya Prabhunand said, whatever casteist slur and exploitation they have faced in their entire life is a pain that could be overcome. Because of the discrimination, once even he had contemplated leaving Hinduism. he said.

The Mahamandaleshwar recalled an incident. “In the year 1999, I was in Chandigarh where a meeting of Sikh preachers was going on. When they came to know of my caste, the sadhus asked me to stand at the entrance. I wanted to take the blessings by touching the feet of the gurus but they said that a Shudra was not allowed to do this. But now I am in a position where people of all races bow before me. I am a religious leader and I will fight against this caste mentality.”

The Dalit saint head said, “It is difficult for me to recall that moment when I was placed on a chariot for the royal bath. All the devotees around me were dancing on the tune of a dhol. My community has been away from such rituals for a long time while we have proven ourselves physically and mentally by writing the Constitution (a reference to BR Ambedkar) and fighting against the Mughals and the British.”

Kanhaiya Prabhunand said, after the tenth grade in the school, he wanted to study Sanskrit but, due to his being from a Scheduled Caste, he did not get the admission. He said, “Then I came to the shelter of my guru, Jagatguru Panchanandi Maharaj, who gave me the education and made a priest of the temple but after some days some goons attacked me. A finger of my hand fractured in the attack and the temple got destroyed, too. I was subjected to caste slurs.”

Ekalavya was a Dalit, so was Karna, the saint recalls

Kanhaiya Prabhunand said, “Leaders and the media should not use the word ‘Dalit’. We should call the names given by the Constitution: SC, ST or OBC. We are Ekalavya and Karna, Ashoka and Chandragupta Maurya. We have proved ourselves but are still excommunicated. I want to change this mentality.”

Categories
India

UP governor launches Kumbh 2019 logo

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to host Kumbh mela in grand style which is scheduled to be held in Allahabad in January 2019. Governor Ram Naik launched the Kumbh’s tagline “Chalo Kumbh Chalo-Chalo, Kumbh Chalo”, Uttar Pradesh Tourism’s slogan “UP Nahin Dekha to India Nahin Dekha” and a one-stop travel solution portal.

Naik has also unveiled a new multi-coloured logo for the Kumbh Mela which comprises temples, seers, a kalash (pitcher) and a ‘Swastika’, was launched by the governor at a function in the Raj Bhawan here last evening.

The unveiling comes close on the heels of the Kumbh Mela this month being recognised by the UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” and held up as the world’s largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims.

“The UNESCO has declared the Kumbh as a world heritage, realising the importance of the event… Sometimes outsiders realise the importance of things sooner than the locals,” the governor said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was also present at the function, said it was a matter of pride that the UNESCO had recognised the Kumbh as a world heritage.

He promised that the Uttar Pradesh government would ensure that Kumbh 2019 is celebrated with grandeur.

Claiming that there was “nothing half in the Sanatan Hindu culture”, the chief minister said that the Ardh Kumbh, held every six years, will be referred to as ‘Kumbh’ and the Kumbh, held every 12 years, as ‘Maha Kumbh’.

The Kumbh Mela is believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth and is held every 12 years on the banks of the ‘Sangam’- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati in Allahabad.

The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Sangam is the largest and holiest of them.

PTI

Categories
India

UP govt to start chief minister’s helpline service

Lucknow: To expeditiously redress the problems of the people, the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government will soon start a chief minister’s helpline service.The UP Cabinet in a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Adityanath approved a proposal in this regard today.

The UP Cabinet also gave its nod for the constitution of a Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran (Prayagraj Mela Authority).

Regarding the helpline service, in the first phase, a call centre will be established in Lucknow.Giving details, UP Energy minister Shrikant Sharma said, “For redressal of problems of the common public, a toll-free Mukhyamantri Helpline Seva will be started. In the first phase, a 24-hour call centre will be established in Lucknow”.

A person sitting in any region of the state can register his or her complaint, he said.

“After this the complaint will be forwarded to the relevant department for redressal. Once the department says that the complaint has been resolved, the call centre will contact the complainant, and if the problem is not solved then action will be initiated against the concerned official,” Sharma said.

He also informed that the call centre will be monitored by the chief minister and his office.

“The Cabinet has given its approval today. Soon the toll-free helpline number and call centre will be started,” Sharma said.

UP Health minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said that the “Ardh Kumbh Mela will now be called Kumbh Mela, while Kumbh Mela will be known as Mahakumbh. The Cabinet has also given its approval for constitution of Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran. The preparations for the Mela have already started, and the 2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela will be of international standards and earn laurel for the state from tourism point of view.”