Char Dham Chaos
Buoyed by mega branding done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the pilgrim footsteps in the fabled Char Dham Yatra this year, is on the verge of breaking all previous records even as more than four months are still remaining for closure of portals when the deities of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri move towards their winter abodes. Sadly, the infrastructure and the system in place in these shrines seem to have collapsed under the weight of this unprecedented surge of pilgrims. Failure of the administration to monitor the Yatra has resulted in a situation where new born infants and senior citizens even in their nineties are visiting the shrines located in lofty Himalayas which many a time has resulted in health issues and even deaths. In absence of any mechanism, no one knows the total value of offerings made by the pilgrims at the sanctum sanctorum of these shrines. With state government not involved anywhere in managing affairs of Yatra, it is high time that it should intervene and set up a Char Dham Shrine board on the lines of Vaishnodevi Shrine Board or ‘TTD trust’ which manages the affairs of famous Tirupati temple located in Andhra Pradesh.
Politicians of all hues are known to keep their cards close to their chest and it is very difficult to fathom what is going on with their grey cells but Harak Singh Rawat is an exception. The rustic strongman from Garhwal hills makes his intentions public at the drop of a hat and candidly admits his ambitions. Such an instance was witnessed during the special session of Vidhan Sabha recently when Congress MLAs pointing towards the chair of leader of the house (chief minister), who was not present at that time, said that the only thing left in his career is the position of CM. In his unique style, Harak immediately accepted his desire for the coveted post. Training guns on the senior Congress leader Pritam Singh he reminded that he (Pritam) supported Harish Rawat for the post of CM. “I would have been CM had you people supported me at that time. Now you are saying this when nothing is in your hands,’’ quipped the mercurial leader. Amid peals of laughter, Harak, a known party hopper boasted that he is the only leader in the state who is continuing to reside in official bungalow at Yamuna Colony without interruption since the year 2002 and would continue to do so with blessings of the people.
That it is difficult to fill the void created by the death of Prakash Pant was clearly visible during the just concluded three day special session of Uttarakhand assembly. The dignity, demeanour and the effortless candour arising out of deep knowledge of parliamentary proceedings made Pant a perfect parliamentary affairs minister. After the demise of Pant, the state government handed over the tough task of managing the parliamentary affairs to seasoned Madan Kaushik in the state assembly. He with his experience and knowledge did his best to put the position of the government forward and blunt the onslaught of opposition but everyone missed Pant who used to disarm the belligerent members of opposition with his knowledge and wit. It remains to be seen how Kaushik develops himself in the new avatar or if TSR appoints someone among his MLAs as parliamentary affairs minister (the chances of which are remote), but it is crystal clear that whosoever dons the hat, has big shoes of Pant to fill.
Friday, 28 June 2019 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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