Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has attacked his rivals for criticising the government for renaming this year’s Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh, saying the opposition does not have an “iota of knowledge” about Indian traditions. The state government had renamed the Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh in 2017. The Kumbh was held in Allahabad from January 15 to March 4 at the Sangam — the confluence of the Yamuna, Ganga and the mythical Saraswati rivers — and as per government data, it was attended by over 24 crore people.
“When the entire country feels proud about the valour and heroic deeds of the armed forces, they (opposition) seeks evidence of surgical strikes and air strikes. “When the entire world praises the divya (divine) and bhavya (grand) Kumbh, then they do not feel proud and express sadness as to why Ardh Kumbh was made Kumbh,” Adityanath told PTI in an interview on Saturday.
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The chief minister attributed the success of the recently culminated Kumbh to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was a “swachh (clean) and surakshit (safe) Kumbh”. “If they (opposition) had even an iota of knowledge pertaining to Indian traditions, then I would have told them something. But, it is futile to make them understand, and the public will eventually and in time teach them a lesson,” he said. There was a “saatvik taakat (pious force)” that wanted “faith and trust” to prevail come what may in the Kumbh, Adityanath said. “But, there was also a big section, that was spreading disinformation about India, Indianess and the Sanatan Dharma. Disregarding all of them, we moved ahead and achieved our mission,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi was a source of inspiration and he “guided us from the beginning, and he has said a safe and clean Kumbh had been organised”, Adityanath said. “When the entire world is facing the menace of terrorism and living in an atmosphere of fear, we were able to successfully organise a surakshit Kumbh in which more than 24 crore devotees came,” the chief minister said.
He said with the prime minister’s efforts and motivation, India’s biggest spiritual and cultural gathering was recognised by the UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”. On the issue of stray cattle in the state, the chief minister said it is an “manmade problem (kritrim aapdaa)”.
“This problem is not caused by nature, but by the society, and the society should come forward to redress the problem. In some of the districts, members of the society have come forward and contributed,” he said. In January this year, the state government had cleared a plan to levy cow welfare cess to help generate funds for its plans to build cow shelters for stray cows. The new cess is applicable on excise items, road toll plazas and Mandi Parishads.