Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘no holy dip’ in the Kshipra on Saturday during the ongoing Simhastha gave the Congress a chance to attack him with a fresh vengeance which the BJP countered as “old habits die hard.”
However, what lent the Congress attack an edge was that many sadhus too saw his “dipless” visit to Ujjain as a sign of arrogance. The religious belief is that a holy dip in the river during Simhastha helps one get rid of one’s sins.
In fact, the reason for Modi’s skipping a holy dip can be traced to his address on the concluding day of a three -day Vaicharik Mahakumbh (ideological conclave). During the address, he asked the people to look beyond the practice of washing sins and earning virtues in 15 minutes and appealed to the sadhus to dump outdated social and religious practices and adopt scientific values ingrained in ancient Indian culture. He regretted that Kumbh was being identified only for Naga Sadhus and confined to snapping their photos, its publicity and their show.
Immediately after Modi left Ujjain, the district Congress launched an attack on him saying he insulted the Kshipra by avoiding a holy dip in the river. The Congress’ protest got a moral support from Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad head Mahant Narendra Giri.
Talking to the Hindustan Times on Sunday Mahant Narendra Giri termed Modi as an arrogant leader but at the same time he was full of praise for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He said Modi didn’t choose to have even a sprinkle of Kshipra water on him, not to say of a holy dip and he also avoided mingling with sadhus and sants.
“Why did he come to Simhastha if he was not to have a holy dip in Kshipra”, the Mahant asked. He even said it was often seen that a man got arrogant after getting power. It was Lord Mahakal only who knew about the fate of such persons.
The state Congress chief spokesperson, KK Mishra, said Modi’s conduct had exposed his pseudo Hinduism. The Congress would launch a campaign to tell people how the BJP had messed up Simhastha and politicised the whole affair to serve its interests.
Rajya Sabha member and one of the organizers of Vaicharik Mahakumbh Anil Dave sought to know if Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its vice-president Rahul Gadhi had any holy dip in any of the sacred rivers during Kumbh.
He said the Congress was in a habit of politicizing every issue. The fact remained the Prime Minister was advised not to visit the mela area given presence of a large crowd over there as his visit would have led to a difficulty before the administration in crowd management.
The BJP national president Amit Shah, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and a horde of BJP and Congress leaders have had a holy dip in the river.