Tag Archives: UP CM Yogi Adityanath

Saffron socialist rises AGAIN!

Circa 2022: March 10

Whether we admit it or not, elections results were a shocker.

Pro-Incumbency, there is no other term that could be used to illustrate these elections well. Since the time dates were announced, approaching March 10 was giving butterflies in the stomach. Sleepless nights, anxiety, preoccupation, discussions, analysis, panel discussions, social media outings, media bytes…what not! But yesterday, it all looked worth it, hard work rewarded.

Not many would have imagined that BJP would retain all four states, where it was in power already for the last five years.

The hard work and the work done worked in BJP’s favour. The decision of sending Yogi ji Gorakhpur worked well, though the result wouldn’t have been different, had he contested from elsewhere. Though BJP machinery was at work in all the states but UP was most talked about for obvious reasons…the media mileage it received was just unsurmountable for any event. These were the most closely watched elections.

It can’t be denied that all parties put their might but probably strategies didn’t work or voter had already made up their mind. SP led by Akhilesh single-handedly could garner some good numbers, but his returning to power was questionable. Still, he took a good fight and gave a good fight. He packed quite a punch with numbers. At one point in time, it was looking like a game-changer, putting BJP on tenterhooks. Congress had no agenda except Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon…which could create no magic. Probably ladkiyan wanted Yogiji to fight for them.

Indeed, UP’s culture, character, infrastructure, and the voter have transformed drastically under Yogi’s tutelage still one couldn’t be so certain of such phenomenal victory. Voter swing and mood are some of the most unpredictable things on this planet. They can surprise you, shock you, overwhelm you … as has happened with these results. As I have been sharing, UP voters are quite aware, conscious, and decide in silence and unison. Here mention of Western UP’s and Purvanchal’s voter needs a special mention who remained unnerved by the Kisan issues.

Double Engine concept…provided assurance. They appreciated Modi-Yogi’s Jodi who is similar in many aspects.

Bulldozer bulldozed many aspirations…

…vaccination drive, free rations, law and order, security & safety of girls, good governance, corruption-free working, heads on the handling of issues, quick revert, etc. silenced many criticisms.

Ram Mandir, Kashi Corridor, attached with every Hindu’s sentiment paved the way for such a big mandate. Moreover, BJP is covering agendas point-by-point as per their manifesto. Of course, Hinduism was the most popular undercurrent in these elections but it can’t be denied that every caste, community, minority, and majority were taken care of well during Covid times. Social engineering and strong social media campaigns were icing on the cake. It is the dawn of a new era, the jinx of repeating the term has broken.

Yogi, an excellent blend of Monk & Manifestation, Yogi & Administrator, Grounded & High-flyer, Traditions & Modernity, who oozes Hinduism but is a global ruler. He is a pleasant personality but a hard taskmaster. He breathes Uttar Pradesh…

Prediction made by Atal ji couldn’t have been truer than now on Congress:

आज आप हमारा उपहास उड़ा लें, लेकिन एक वक्त आएगा जब लोग आपका उपहास उड़ाएंगे।’

Yesterday, Congress faced its worst defeat – Rahul / Priyanka could spell no magic due to their confusing strategies. All these years they took UP voters for granted. Had they done some constructive criticism, things would have been different. In fact, they should felicitate the two winners…

Yogi has proven himself time and again but BJP needs some serious introspection about lost seats. They need to analyze and study the voting pattern of lost seats. Still, winning 4 states out of 5 is no mean feat.

BSP performance, the less said the better. It is an indication that people have voted rising above caste, creed, and religion, which is a positive sign.

BJP – Way to go!!


My perspective on U.P. Elections!

Aravind Sundaram, CEO, Thought Habitat in an exclusive conversation with Bienu Varma Vaghela, Author – Life: An Existential Cocktail and Blogger.

  • UP being your home state, you are closely watching forthcoming elections, besides being a social media influencer and blogger. How were the elections in the 80s and 90s compared to this day?

First and foremost, thanks Aravind for the opportunity to take your audience down memory lane…and present the commoner’s perspective on the most-watched event of 2022 – The U.P. Elections.  

UP has always been a hotbed of politics and the first elections were held in 1957 in independent India. Since, then UP has been witness to the appointment of several CM’s, sacking of CM’s, resignation of CMs, fall of CMs, and successful stints of CMs. Times were different than in the way they were conducted. It was people’s election…candidates and voters interacted face to face and communication were just one-way. People didn’t have a voice in the absence of technology and social media. They were attending rallies, reading newspapers, and believing word of mouth or influential people in society. But the results were astonishing…they made their choice.

The late ’80s saw the emergence of a new kind of politics and CMs emerged from humble backgrounds who were successful in doing effective social engineering which proved a game-changer. Coalition set up was at its peak…due to fractured mandate… so strange bedfellows, completely different ideologies joined hands with a single focus on forming the Government.

As far as outreach was concerned, the main source of publicity for any party were posters which painted the town red, newspaper ads. editorials and loudspeaker announcements besides rallies. There were no 24×7 news channels, influencing your viewpoints and showing panel discussions. But I must say UP has a very conscious voter who understands politics well.

  • As everybody is talking about UP elections, I am sure you too must be closely watching it – How do you view elections – 2022?

Today elections are very different, keenly watched…and these are not just any elections, these are the elections to watch out for, for their many firsts. From being a one-way communication from candidates, it a strong two-way communication. Social media activity is at its peak though it has its upside and flipside both, Upside – commoners have an opinion and a voice too, and flip side – too many noises making it chaotic sometimes. People are quite open about expressing their choices and airing their views, whereas in 80 – the 90s people kept it close to their chests. Opinion polls are another effective tool that penetrates the voter’s psyche. Elections have become a round-the-clock preoccupation.  

  • So, this way these elections are different, and not too different too. What do you have to say on this?

Yes, you can say so. Some aspects remain the same, some completely transformed. Now, there is a viewpoint and information overload. There is a lot of instigation towards rivals which is in bad taste. Budgets are really big and reach extremely wide – worldwide. Media is playing a strong role in not only airing opinions but in building opinions too.  Elections are different, very different in their magnitude, budgets, outreach, demographics, voters’ profile, and people’s exposure. But I am still surprised that it is still banking on strong social engineering, I mean caste-based politics. We should think as Indians and vote accordingly and not that we belong to some particular caste.  I recommend a regulator for elections like we have RBI or IRDAI to monitor what is content is being circulated and leads to untoward incidents.   

  • People say governance has changed with Yogi Adityanath. How true is that?

              When a call came to me from a Lucknow Journo that Yogi ji has been called to Delhi, I was taken aback. I thought Yogi for UP, most politically charged the state with its set of unique problems and the state needs to progress. But I must say what a phenomenal administrator he came out to be, surprising everyone. His knowledge, understanding, technological abilities, commitment, and social connection is praiseworthy. He has inculcated fundamentals of good governance and faster decisions on critical issues. Thus, giving a good image to UP as a State that it lacked. UP has undergone a huge transformation under his regime with good law and order, flyovers, expressways, metros, railway stations, schools, medical colleges, airports… the organization of Kumbh Mela – the biggest congregation of humanity. He has proved his mettle. He lives to breathe UP.

Yogi Adityanath, UP, CM
  • You worked as a Class I officer under Mayawati and even Mulayam Singh Yadav. Would you like to share your experience of working with them?

Being in that position and as a young officer, I was always thrilled to go to Vidhan Bhawan for some work or the other. I looked up to Mayawati Ji as she has risen like a meteor in UP politics on her own which was truly inspiring. She was quite clear in her thoughts about how this particular work would be done. Yes, she never forgot to check if I will be dropped home if it was late.

Mulayam Singh Ji, Neta ji and in Neta ji’s mode, had strong political back-up and had been a student leader, so a leader in that sense. His connection with people was great and once I got an opportunity to briefly interact with him when he told me how he wants to see UP as an Industrialised state. He asked me about my position and my family and heard me with attention. He came across as a very amicable leader.

  • With outdoor mass campaigning banned, how do you think political parties would cope up by reaching the masses?

Unfortunately, the pandemic spread as a third wave and new variant has changed the flavour of the election but thankfully, we have media, social media, and technology to fall back on. It is challenging for small regional parties which banked on rallies to reach out to voters. But yes, the parties which have the paraphernalia, technology, media bandwidth, and strong social media presence may prove to be a game-changer. But as it is a natural challenge that all parties need to address. Still, parties cannot negate the importance of social connect, reach out to voters, hence taking up aggressive door-to-door campaigns. Not just social engineering but social outreach is also very important and these elections are an amalgamation of that.

No challenge is bigger than the elections!

Ayodhya: Mandir Kab? Vikas Ab!

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

While Court was busy in giving tareeq-pe-tareeq, Modiji, Gadkariji and Yogiji developed Ayodhyaji as a remarkable pilgrimage and tourism centre. Now people visiting UP, can’t miss visiting Ayodhya, it is a prominent destination on India’s tourism map and of course holy shrine of all Hindus. Mandir kab Banega, Mujhe Nahi pata, but Ayodhya Jana to Banta hai…

Ayodhya is one such holy city in the entire world which is in the news every day, round the year. Why? I don’t need to tell you here. But recently, it was in News for a different reason, when Mr Nitin Gadkari announced infrastructure projects worth Rs. 5300 crores in Ayodhya, which included improvement of 84 Kosi Parikrama Marg and Ram Van Gaman Marg, which was long overdue. These two projects have religious significance for pilgrims.

With Yogiji as CM of UP, Ayodhya got its due, many infrastructure projects have been commissioned, Saryu aarti became the talk of the town and tourists have started visiting Ayodhya. Though Ram Mandir is still subjudice with next hearing coming up in Supreme Court soon (tareeq pe tareeq), if doesn’t get shelved as has been happening from last so many months, testing the patience of Indian public. All are helplessly watching – when Ayodhya dispute will be put up for hearing and will not be deferred on some or the other flimsy ground. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Read on to know its history and geography and more…

The Ayodhya city situated on the banks of the River Saryu being associated with a mythological epic Ramayan as the birthplace of Lord Ram has various temples that are prominent spiritual places for tourists to visit. Along with temples,

Historically Ayodhya was known as Saketa which was an important city during the 6th Century in civilized India. Indeed, during Buddha’s time, Saketa was ruled by Prasenadi whose capital was Sravasti. Even, during Maurya rule, Saketa continued its prominence and was attacked by Bactrian Greek expedition allied to Panchala and Mathur during 190 B.C.

During the Gupta rulers, Ayodhya reached its highest political significance such that during the reigns of Kumaragupta and Skandagupta capital of the empire was shifted from Pataliputra to Ayodhya where the old name of Saketa was replaced to Ayodhya. Ayodhya name of the city defines the city as Lord Rama’s capital city. But, during Narasimhagupta the empire was destroyed by Huns that caused the shifting of the capital to Kanauj in the 6th century. It resulted in the oblivion of Ayodhya. In the early second millennium, Gahadavalas came into power at Kannauj. During his rule, Gahadavalas built several Vishnu temples at Ayodhya. In subsequent years, the cult of Rama developed within Vaishnavism, with Rama being regarded as the foremost avatar of Vishnu.

Consequently, Ayodhya’s importance as a pilgrimage centre grew and tourists can visit so many pilgrimage places in Ayodhya. Ayodhya also has various other tourist spots. Some are:

Ram Janmabhoomi Temple

However, the area of Ram Janmabhoomi is disputed since the destruction of Babri Masjid built on it; yet due to its mythological association with Ramayan as the birthplace of Lord Ram, this place is a major tourist attraction in Ayodhya. This place possesses spiritual significance for Hindus and hence it is a place worth visiting.

Hanuman Garhi

Another important temple that is situated in Ayodhya is Hanuman Garhi that is solely dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is characterized by the 70 steep steps that should be scaled in order to reach the temple complex. Truly, this place is a must to visit.

Treta Ke Thakur

Treta Ke Thakur is an ancient temple situated on the banks of the river Sarayu in Ayodhya. This temple has a beautiful idol of Lord Ram carved out in black sandstones.

Kanak Bhawan

This temple is built on an area that was supposed to house another temple which was gifted to Sita immediately after her marriage by Lord Ram. The temple was later renovated by King Vikramaditya of the Paramara dynasty and again rebuilt in 1891. This temple has a marvellous architecture that makes it worth visiting.

After the independence of India from British rule, Ayodhya has been an important city of Uttar Pradesh from a spiritual point of view.

The distance between Lucknow to Ayodhya is 135 km by Road and 142 km by Rails. Aerial distance is 125 km. There is/are 15 direct train(s) from Lucknow to Ayodhya. You can reach Lucknow by Air and Train, very well – connected network of airports and railways.

Not only in India, in Uttar Pradesh, in Thailand, but the place known as Ayutthaya is also named after Ayodhya – the birthplace of Lord Rama in India. Thai kings called themselves as Rama and their capital Ayutthaya. Beautiful!!

More on it my next post…

Kumbh Mela: To witness the world’s biggest congregation of humanity

After the tumultuous year 2018, people are hoping big for peace, harmony & spirituality for the year 2019, as it is starting with the Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019, going to be held at Allahabad (Prayag) from January 14th – March 4th, 2019. According to estimates, the Kumbh Mela 2019 would have more than 12 crore pilgrims drawing in for the bathing ritual held in Allahabad.

With PM Narendra Modi performing the Maha Aarti on Sangam Ghat and announcing the prarambh of Ardh Kumbh along with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, this year Kumbh is unquestionably the most anticipated event of the Year 2019. Massive preparations are underway to provide bhakts with never before experienced. In the words of Yogi Adityanath, “ With Kumbh (Ardha Kumbh) Mela due in Prayag in January 2019, the preparations are afoot to host an expected 12 crore visitors. Inviting one and all to be a part of the Mela. He informed about the world-class arrangements of the Kumbh Mela, and of cleanliness. He added, “I promise, you will not find any dirt in the venue, which we have expanded to 10,000 acres from 5,000 acres. Also, this time, the Kumbh Mela will have more cultural attractions than ever before.”

Going by the arrangements put in by the Yogi Government this Kumbh, it is going to be a big tourist attraction for Indian & Foreign Nationals besides being Spiritual, Cultural and Religious experience which comprises its core. The major attractions being Shahi Snan, Sangam Walk and Laser Show etc. Not only this, the Centre has plans to start airboat service from Varanasi to Prayagraj for the Kumbh Mela as per the announcement made by Central Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari recently. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is arranging for a ferry service near Sangam Ghat as well.

Noted film producer Subhash Ghai upheld the Kumbh Mela as an inspiration for all artists. “As artists, we get inspired by history, our epics, our puranic sanskritis and give this punarjivan in our own ways. We consider the age-old Kumbh tradition that was mentioned as early as in the 7th century by Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, as a great pride of India. I hope by taking part in the Kumbh Mela, this unique gathering of humans focused on soul and world peace alone, we will give more power to this wonderful tradition.”

The Royal Bath or the Shahi Snan or the Rajyogi Snan is the first holy bath that is taken by Nagas, followed by saints and sages of different Akharas (religious groups) in the Sangam. Millions of pilgrims follow these saints and sages down onto the river; the Nagas take the lead.

The organisers have left no stone unturned to make Kumbh Mela as women-friendly as possible with sensitisation training and the establishment of separate ghat among other measures. The Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (GBPSSI) at Prayagraj is training about 8500 police personnel and additional 9000 paramilitaries on gender, cultural and linguistic dialect sensitization. In another first at the Kumbh, women – only ghat is being constructed.

The city of Prayagraj will host its first Kumbh in January 2019 after its recent rechristening. Kumbh Mela 2019 promises to be a grand spiritual event in which millions will throng from around the world at the holy confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

It is believed that the Kumbh Mela starts when astrological positions of Sun, Moon and Jupiter are fully occupied. This is considered a holy time in the Hindu religion. Prayagraj is connected by air to several domestic destinations. The airport is at Bamrauli and is 12 km away from the city centre. The city has four major railway stations namely Allahabad Junction, Prayag Station, City Station at Rambagh and Daraganj Station. Prayagraj is well connected by road as well.

Millions of people visit Prayagraj during the Kumbh Mela. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the city expects 15 crore visitors during Kumbh Mela 2019. Peshwai is one of the attractions of the Kumbh Mela. Peshwai marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela and is a marvellous procession. Holy men and their entourage arrive at the Kumbh on elephants, horses and in carriages.

Uttar Pradesh government is organising Sangam Walk for the tourists visiting the city for Kumbh Mela. A laser-light show will be one of the attractions this year. The show will be held at Allahabad Fort.

Indian, as well as foreign nationals from abroad, are expected to visit the Kumbh Mela. Heads of foreign missions in India were invited by the government to observe the preparations at the site Kumbh Mela.

This is the first time that about 1500 cameras would capture images and videos across the city. This would enable organisers to understand crowd behaviour and pedestrian’s movement which is very critical handle crowds of this scale.

Plan your visit in advance for that unique spiritual experience!

Inputs: News 18 and ET