Critics claim that Yogi’s visit to Janakpurdham is an attempt to gain political advantage
According to Ramayan, Ram came from Ayodhya and married King Janak’s daughter after breaking the Pinaka bow on Vivaha Panchami in Tretayug. He returned home with Sita along with a huge wedding procession. The wedding is celebrated every year on Vivaha Panchami. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, has arrived in Janakpurdham with the wedding procession from Ayodhya.
Yogi’s visit to Janakpurdham has been billed as a cultural visit. Minister for culture and aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, is representing the federal government in the Vivaha Panchami celebration. This year’s celebration will highlight the shared cultural and people-to-people relationship between the two countries. Indian government’s decision to send Yogi along with the procession reflects its willingness to further cement Nepal-India ties.
The state with the largest population, India’s Uttar Pradesh has significant political clout. Chief Minister Yogi has announced plans to build Ram temple in Ayodhya. Before politics, Yogi served as the head of the Gorakhanath Temple in Gorakhpur and is believed to be the second most popular leader in India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after Modi. Some even see him as Modi’s heir. He will be BJP’s one of the major faces in the upcoming general elections.
Who is Yogi?
Born in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, Yogi is an ascetic. He was 26 when he won a state election in Gorakhpur, UP in 1998. He was elected for five times in a row from the constituency. He positioned himself as a staunch Hindu leader and earned respect for his strong work ethics and oratory skills.
Yogi has special ties with Nepal. Gorakhnath temple has special relationship with Nath community members, temples and religious shrines. Yogi has visited Nepal several times, even before his political career took off.
Why is Yogi visiting Janakpur?
Critics claim that Yogi’s visit to Janakpurdham is an attempt to gain political advantage. Movements for preserving culture are now new phenomenon across the world. This trend is visible in Nepal and in other South Asian countries as well. Yogi seems to be at the heart of this very movement. Building a temple devoted to Ram in Ayodhya is a major agenda of the ruling BJP.
The BJP government has prioritized its relationship with neighbors. Modi’s government wants to send a message that it is bent on building deeper ties with the neighbors.
Modi has visited Nepal four times, the most by any sitting Indian prime minister. Modi often talks about cultural ties with Nepal and the decision to send Yogi in Vivah Panchami celebration is a part of the outreach. It is also equally important for our political leadership to consider this event in a positive light. These high level visits will boost our tourism for sure. Moreover, having cordial relationship with the chief minister of the state that shares the longest border with Nepal is not a bad idea at all.