As the nation celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi, also marking the beginning of the festivities of the Hindu calendar, despites various natural calamities and high cost of petrol and diesel, and the fall of Indian Rupees, which means the traders this year, are not expecting to do bulk festival business. The upcoming Durga Puja and Deepawali festivals are the most awaited of annually, but the sale is yet to pick up for this season.
According to the Durga Puja dates in year 2018 for Kolkata, West Benga, Goddess Durga will arrival on Boat and Departure on Elephant, justifying the flood everywhere.
The most affected this year is perhaps Kerala in India, where the state has announced that for a year no celebration will be observed, and going back by Elephant also means, whatever she brings along might be stampeded by the elephant, while in a few months, the nation will be exercising the Rights to Franchise for the Lok Sabha General Election by May 2019.
In this backdrop, the achievement of a ruling government is measured in terms delivering of good governance, while in the case of a coalition government the fulfilment of common minimum programmes as agreed upon will enable the stability, but once the conflict of ideologies amongst its alliance members and the government creep up, it surely will split wide open the partnership, while the general masses suffer. The Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region for Deepawali last year did not go down well for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), while the ruling government is under pressure due to the toxic smog which lasted for over three months after 2016 observance of the festival.
The RSS Sarkaryavah, Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, while not fully agreeing with the Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers, feels that bad effects of bursting firecrackers should be pointed out while opining that all firecrackers don’t spread pollution. Deepawali is a festival of happiness. Only the fireworks that harm the environment and spread pollution should be banned, opines Joshi while adding that there should be a balanced view on the issue.
On the other hand, Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on October 15, 2017 said that the construction of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya will commence soon and it will be ready to receive devotees by next Deepawali. He further claimed that hurdles in the way of the proposed Ram temple are being removed. He was addressing a seminar, organised by the Bihar unit of Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS).
The Rajya Sabha MP also made it clear that for electoral success: it is essential that the ideology of Hindutva is never lost sight of. He also assured that the VHS would make efforts for the construction of a grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram’s consort Sita at Sitamarhi in north Bihar, believed to be her birthplace. It is impossible to think of Maryada Purushottam Sri Rama without his companion Jagat Janani Janaki he stressed.
Both the issues- Cracker ban and construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya are pending in the Supreme Court, while both the issues were also the mandate of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, the completion of both the issues will surely assure electoral success, but the ruling government is in a fix as the cases is pending in the Court.
Any violation of either the RSS or the VHS here will only expose the vision of a Hindutva, and as is with the rest of the nation, Meghalaya’s phobia of what might happen should the saffron party come to power at centre seems to be turning into a reality, first with the Ghar Wapsi (Home Coming), where a series of religious conversion activities organized by Indian Hindu organizations VHP and RSS to convert non-Hindus to Hinduism became the subject of public discussion in 2014.
Although now it is dormant, however, the underlying fears still persist. It may be noted that both are strong supporters of NDA government of Narendra Damodardas Modi. Now the BJP ruled states have openly banned slaughter of animals and sale of meat thereby controlling what is on our dining tables which have sparked off further controversy. The Goa and Kerala governments were strong enough to oppose the banning of beef, stating that it is a staple food. This movement was stopped after the Order of the Supreme Court, but the damage has already been done divining the nation along the lines of religion.
Now comes the controversial statement made by with fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya that he had offered to solve the loan issues with Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, which the Oppositon Indian National Congress have now demanded the resignation of Jaitely alleging him of giving Mallya a free passage to flee the country.
All such conflicts have taken the shape of racism, while the political parties are cashing in on the discord as vote banks and will find it difficult to create a New India in the next five years, unless there is a strong political will to immediately abort communal conflicts, dividing the society in the name of languages and profession. It will be interesting to observe how the political parties pull out the card of pledging to create an inclusive and prosperous India of the dreams of freedom fighters by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
In these circumstances, how can Modi preach about unity unless he guides his foot soldiers towards the spirit of secularism and stakeholders for nation development as envisioned by Modi himself.
The opposition now has only a few months to gear up the attack on the ruling NDA, and the Modi government needs to speed up the damage control before the Election Commission of India announces the Poll date.