The Home Minister flagged off the ‘rath yatra’ which its organisers insist is to seek divine intervention for the welfare of the nation, and has nothing to do with Hindutva.
New Delhi: Even as the country’s security situation is under an intense spotlight with terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir and border tensions with Pakistan and China, an organisation led by a BJP MP has a solution: a ‘Mahayagya’ with soil and water from various parts of the country.
“This yagya is being done because there are conspirators within and outside the country who harbour enmity, and harm the country. There are elements in the country which don’t let it grow, and malign its image,” BJP MP Mahesh Girri told ThePrint.
Girri, the ruling party’s East Delhi MP, is the main organiser of the event.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off Wednesday the “Jal Mitti Rath Yatra” from India Gate to the chanting of religious verses and recordings of temple bells.
Organisers said the ‘rath’ will travel to prominent temples, border areas like Wagah and Kargil, and even Doklam, the site of a recent standoff with China. The water and soil collected from these locations will be used in a ‘Mahayagya’ at the Red Fort in the national capital in March.
Singh insisted that the rath yatra is unique, has no political motivations, and is for a larger cause—the welfare of the country.
“We want to ensure the unity of the country, not only for the welfare of Indians, but also for the welfare of the world as a whole,” the home minister said, while flagging off the event.
Gunjan Gupta, a BJP councillor from Anand Vihar, said that India was riddled with problems despite prayers and a mahayagya of this scale could help eradicate these problems. She insisted the event may be driven by Hindu philosophy, but that is natural given India is inherently Hindu.
“Whatever puranas and shastras we have, everything stems from Hindutva. So it is relevant for the country, it is not talking about a particular religion, she said.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari wasn’t skeptical about what the event would achieve.
“The NDA-BJP government is charged with the responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of India. If all they can do is attempt to invoke the blessings of the gods, high above in the sky, then god save this country,” he said.
Get the PrintEssential to make sense of the day's key developments.