TSR deserves kudos for his decision to constitute a Char Dham Shrine Board for the management of famed and highly revered four shrines of Uttarakhand. The new entity to be constituted on the lines of Mata Vaishno Devi and Tirupati Tirumala Devsthanam (TTD) Shrine Boards would have the management of 51 temples under its purview. The shrine board would instill accountability in the management of these shrines which at present are being managed shabbily in absence of any clear guidelines and utter lack of professionalism. With exponential increase in the number of visitors to the temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri-this year a record 36 lakh pilgrims visited Char Dhams- the need for proper, scientific and coordinated management of these shrines was being felt for long. The hue and cry raised by the Teerth Purohits and those directly linked with the present management of these temples is understandable as any change however good and essential, could meet resistance. The Teerth Purohits should understand that it is high time that the management of these ancient centres of Hindu faith should be overhauled and they should find solace in the assurance of State Government that the interests of all the stakeholders of these shrines would remain intact.
With his wits, sharp one liners and dark humour, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat is a darling of media and all the above mentioned attributes are responsible for the space which he invariably corners in print and electronic media. In a recent programme, the redoubtable leader sharing stage with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat remarked that TSR is a ‘Hard Rawat’ while he (Harish Rawat) is ‘Soft Rawat’. The analogy generated smiles all around however one cannot but marvel at Harish Rawat’s political acumen on the statement. With an image of a tough customer with decisions like bringing and implementing transfers act, adopting a no nonsense approach on corruption and holding the potential troublemakers (imported from Congress) of his team into a tight lease, TSR definitely deserves the title of ‘Hard Rawat’. The former CM also meant that political compulsions during his reign forced him to remain soft. However, it would be interesting to observe how TSR maintains this hard image of his in the coming days or will he mellow down due to electoral compulsions.
An example how overtly emphasis on promoting personal relationships can mar an event was witnessed recently in a seminar held at Vidhan Sabha’s meeting hall on the occasion of Constitution Day organised by a commission. In the programme attended by many prominent personalities belonging to divergent fields, the chairman of the commission who is retired judge, heaped adulation on a person who is a position holder in one of a Government owned councils. On being invited to deliver a lecture, this individual who is Kathavachak by profession hurled an irrelevant sermon with many references about Ramrajya on a hapless audience gathered for deliberation on the constitution of India. It was amply clear that the chairman of commission holds deep personal devotion towards the Kathavachak and in an attempt to express his unflinching faith had invited him in the programme as a speaker however it proved counterproductive as unable to digest irrelevant babble many left the programme in a huff.