Will Simhastha, slated to be held in April-May next year in Ujjain, provide chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the opportunity to further cozy up the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?
The state government through a series of discussions seems to be attempting to conduct the mega religious congregation in a way that would please the RSS.
The RSS, regarded as the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, remains important for any leader of the party, as it is the one constant in the changed BJP after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister nearly a year ago.
The state government has started a series of discussions to be organised over the coming months in the run-up to the religious congregation.
The structure of the discussions has been prepared in such a way that it covers subjects dear to the RSS. Speakers have been invited from other countries as well, giving the programme an international standing.
On April 18, speakers will discuss value-based approach in school and technical education, information technology, administration and governance, law and jurisprudence, family and social life, medical sector, professional life and public life.
The issues to be discussed steer clear of any religious agenda and evade controversy and follow a more cohesive approach, albeit based on themes close to the RSS.
The issues to be taken up in the upcoming discussions include 'unity of all sects', global concerns on environment, science and spirituality in October 2015, November 2015 and February 2016 respectively.
All these subjects have been close to the RSS and have been discussed at various fora regularly. The RSS has also regarded Simhastha as more than a meeting of the faithful or an opportunity to take a dip in a holy river.
The RSS has perceived Simhastha not just as an important event in the Hindu calendar, but also one providing an opportunity for a dialogue between various groups in society and for forging samajik samrasta - that can be translated as harmony between various castes in the Hindu fold.
The discussions planned by the state government will dwell on these subjects.
"It is now evident that BJP state governments and even the Union government are working on furthering ideals considered close to the RSS. In fact, those being appointed in bodies such as the Censor Board, National Book Trust, Prasar Bharti are RSS nominees and not BJP. So why would Madhya Pradesh government want to be left behind?" said political analyst Girija Shankar.
He added that issues considered close to the RSS are being worked upon and promoted.
The discussions are being organised by the state culture department, along with the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, a trust whose objectives coincide with the RSS.