Varanasi: A month ago, the Annapurna Shobha Yatra was to conclude on November 15th in Durgakund, Banaras. A long yatra spanned from Delhi to Banaras by the BJP in the celebrations of the Maa Annapurna returns, an idol stolen from Banaras 100 years ago, preserved in Canada to date. It also covered many important districts for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Uttar Pradesh, 18 in total. Some of them were Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Unnao, Aligarh and Ayodhya.
After the end of the yatra in Durgakund, Vishnu Prajapati who participated in it through Banaras expressed his satisfaction. “I am very happy that this yatra was successful and that Maa Annapurna is back in Banaras,” Vishnu said. CM Yogi Adityanath, including several ministers of state, came to Banaras to install the idol in the hallway of Kashi Vishwanath, which made it a great ceremony.
Although this is a celebration for many, Vishnu also expressed a glimmer of doubt in the context of the upcoming elections. “We will only vote on the real issues. And in the present, the problems of mehngai in gasoline, cylinders and even mustard oil are very important, ”Vishnu said. Pawan Gupta, a person who stood alongside other locals near Dasaswamedha ghat saw the yatra pass by them and jokingly commented: “Once again, the BJP is resorting to Hindu politics again- Muslim. “
The incendiary slogan “Ayodhya toh ek jhanki hai, Kashi Mathura baki hai ” has also been used by many to support the same type of divisive politics. As the BJP’s community policy has been expanded on a massive scale, people are in a flow of varying opinions on the importance of Banaras religious promotion and beautification and the broader issues of inflation, jobs, etc.
Banaras, throughout the reign of CM Yogi Adityanath, has seen massive changes that are undeniable. Better roads, cleaner ghats (but not the Ganga River) and massive projects such as the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor have convinced many people to see them as the true development of Banaras as a holy place. But the working class and small business people are not entirely convinced.
Sonu Dharmendra, who has a small store selling eggs, sensed the state government’s cruel intent when taking the new rations. “This refined oil, salt and chana is given today. What guarantees will this be the case when the elections are over in February? Sonu asked. Vicky, who was in line behind Sonu, strongly lamented that this was all an electoral ploy. “All this will be done until the elections and then it will not be given. This is how I feel, ”Vicky said.
The new ration of refined oil, salt and chana was launched recently across Banaras, following the unveiling of the much-publicized Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on December 13 by Banaras MP Narendra Modi. “The hallway will not feed our stomachs. Neither did this packet of oil. You see, I have a family of 5, and do you think that will be enough? I still have to buy from the market and mustard oil is expensive, so we live on refined oil, ”Sonu said. The ration packs are printed with big faces of CM Yogi and PM Modi, again making this an obvious election strategy. And while there is dissatisfaction with the small token gestures of the current state government, many also believe it won’t be better, no matter who runs the government.
Naresh, another person receiving the basic ration at a ration center in Bhojpur said that “the current government has done a good job around Banaras and throughout the UP. This inflation of mustard oil and stuff has been like this for a long time, the prices will go up no matter who runs the government.
Yogi government claim an improved and reinforced public order situation in the UP seems to hurt some. Police action against small stalls and hawkers who set up shop on the road has been a matter of concern to many. Raju, who sets up a makeshift stall selling fruit juice in Dasaswamedha ghat, complains that the police are obstructing his activity. “They hurt me a lot when I put this stall on the corner of the road and regularly tell me to take it off. They apologize for saying that I am causing the obstruction, but they are not saying anything about those bikes that have been parked, ”Raju said.
Due to the repeated harassment from the police, Raju chose to pay the police a certain amount to keep his stand, “but even then they ask me to take it down on certain occasions. I have to follow their orders anyway, ”Raju said. Police harassment is increasingly common among small vendors, says Mohit Sonkar, who is a street vendor selling vegetables in Padav. “Before, the police would come in a month or two, ask to fill their bags of vegetables for free and leave. Now it’s so much more common, they come when they want and ask us to remove our carts, even though we give them vegetables for free. Sometimes they even confiscate our weights and scales and we have to go to the (police) station to get them back. It’s very disturbing for us, ”said Mohit.
Mohit is a young man who is also preparing for government entrance exams, but has little hope of entering government service. “I understand they want to make many sectors private. But they shouldn’t, at least, reduce the vacancies that are already there, ”mohit complains. Indeed, there was a decline in government hires, both at the center and state levels. Outsourcing of labor and increasing privatization in the context of a pandemic are some of the main factors that have led to such a decline. Gulshan Kumar, another student who recently sat for the NFL (National Fertilizer Limited) recruiting exam is disappointed with the current state of employment opportunities.
“Mandir and the building of the hallway are all tied to and depend on personal beliefs, that’s not good. Everything else has been ignored and the state government is too focused on the issue of religion alone. Said Gulshan. “We can clear our exams, we don’t know, but increasing privatization appears to be a threat to vacancies. What exams will we attempt even if there are no vacancies? He is more pronounced than many can see through the religious shenanigans of the current government. Ananth Kumar, a companion of Gulshan and a young student, scathingly criticized the government for its overzealous religious policies. “I had very high hopes when this government arrived, now everything revolves around the mandir and the masjid. Ayodhya Ram Mandir is done now, but they have already moved to Krishna mandir in Mathura. This is how this government works, ”said Ananth.
Throughout Banaras, two major faces are preparing for the next elections are Yogi Adityanath representing the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav representing the Samajwadi Party (SP). The frustrations of various people mentioned above have turned very much to Yadav as a worthy candidate for the upcoming elections. “I don’t know who is going to win,” Naresh said with a laugh, “but Akhilesh Yadav is a young candidate who I think can lead the government. I just don’t want a three-legged government. The government should be stable, “Naresh said, pointing to the anxious uncertainty that the BJP could not sweep the election with a majority this time around. Ananth and Gulshan both noted that we would vote for anyone who dared claim to suppress the price hike and secure jobs. “We are not involved in any party and we do not take sides.”
Amid this flow of opinions, the stage is set for a shock of religiosity and material issues, and the people of Banaras must give weight to material issues such as inflation which has weighed heavily on their pockets or on their pockets. merits of mega-religious. speech promoted by the BJP government.