With Narendra Modi led BJP expanding its reach across the country, saffron is the colour of the moment. In yet another instance of saffron making its presence felt in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, the residents of Amritpur village in Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s home district Etawah have painted 100 toilets saffron on their own. Yes, this is not a move by the Yogi Adityanath government but is an initiative of the residents of the village. Speaking to ANI, Vedpal Singh Nayak, Gram Pradhan of the village said, “People of the village suggested this colour. When their (BJP) government has been formed not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in the nation, what is the problem if toilets are also painted in their colour.”
The district administration had constructed 350 toilets in the village under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The gram panchayat decided on Monday to paint all the toilets saffron. Gram pradhan Ved Pal said, “Till Wednesday, 100 toilets were painted saffron and the remaining will be painted within three days.” The villagers have no objection to the saffron paint and did so to express their delight over the achievement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Former Chief Minister has reacted sharply to the incident. PTI quoted Akhilesh as saying, “They named toilets as izzatghar and then splattered colour on that izzat (honour)…”We believe that changing colours will not change anything… It is only the colour of development that is permanent… Instead of doing anything for people’s welfare, the BJP is involved in works that divert attention.”
In the recent past, many incidents of ‘saffronising’ buildings in Uttar Pradesh have been reported. A week ago, a controversy erupted after the boundary wall of the UP Haj Committee office in Lucknow was painted saffron. A day later, the boundary wall got back its original ‘cream’ hue. Hardly had the controversy subsided when the Qaiserbagh police station building in Lucknow was painted saffron. In Pilibhit district, over 80 of the 1,230 primary schools were painted saffron late last year. However, this did not go down well with the district magistrate who gave directives to the managing bodies of the government primary schools to repaint the schools in white, which is the official colour. Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan located in Lucknow was also splashed with saffron in October-end.