Yogi pitches for birth anniversary celebrations of harmony icons
The new government is planning to celebrate the birth anniversaries of saints and luminaries who worked to promote communal harmony in Uttar Pradesh. It has sanctioned Rs 10.93 lakh for 2017-18 for such celebrations.lucknow Updated: Apr 28, 2017 18:19 IST
The Yogi Adityanath government is planning to celebrate the birth anniversaries of saints and luminaries who have been the icons of peace and communal harmony in Uttar Pradesh.
It has sanctioned a total of Rs 10.93 lakh at the rate of Rs 14,583 per district of the state for 2017-18 for such celebrations. The government has instructed district magistrates to hold the celebrations at the district headquarters and other places in their respective areas.
Bharatiya Janata Party sources say it’s a well-planned step to counter accusations of political rivals like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) who have routinely blamed the BJP for polarising voters on communal lines, especially during elections. The chief minister himself holds the national integration portfolio.
A government order dated April 12, 2017 has asked all the DMs to identify such people who played an important role in spreading communal harmony but whose birth anniversaries were not celebrated owing to lack of funds. The DMs were asked to ensure proper celebrations. Secretary (national integration), UP, Ashok Kumar has issued the order which also directs the DMs to take the help of local non-government organisations in these proposed celebrations.
“The step will play a key role in not only changing the general perception of the BJP being a party of certain castes or just the Hindus but will also reiterate the party’s stand of ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas’ while allaying fears of the minority communities at a time when the BJP’s rivals are openly exploring a unified front to counter the Modi wave for the 2019 Lok Sabha,” said political analyst MP Dube, vice-chancellor of Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandion Open University (UPRTOU).
He said that having realised the importance of votes from across the social and religious divide for a sweeping win in the UP assembly election, this step, as well recent comments by the CM and BJP leaders, point towards a possible attempt by the BJP to make people look at it as a party of all.
Badri Narayan, another political commentator and a professor at Allahabad University’s GB Pant Social Science Institute, believes the step is an effort by Yogi government to ensure peace in the state by recognising the icons of communal harmony.
“This will help mitigate any possibilities of a communal flare-up akin to when the SP was in power and that the BJP had vehemently criticised in the run-up to the assembly polls,” he added.