CM Yogi's decision to participate in Lathmar Holi in Barsana draws flak
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has decided to participate in the Lathmar Holi which is celebrated and relished in Barsana, Mathura.
Recently, even UP Tourism Department also decided to inaugurate the Taj Mahotsav with a play on Ramayana. The news of these events did not go down well with the Muslim community. The Muslim community has slammed the CM for his double standards.
They feel that CM Yogi should stay away from participating in festivals having a particular religious or communal tone.
Talking to India Today, Samajwadi Party leader and former city president of the party Raisuddin said that the affinity of the CM towards Hindu festivals is sending a wrong signal out globally about Uttar Pradesh, which is being portrayed as a city being ruled by a communal government.
This will hamper the state's development and halt the wheel of progress that started rolling under former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Haji Jameeluddin, city president of Indian National Congress said that slogan 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' is rendered useless if the Chief Minister is benevolent towards Hindu community and celebrating their festivals and shunning the celebrations of other communities.
He said that either the Chief Minister should celebrate the major festivals of all communities residing in the state, like Eid, Christmas and Gurupurab, or he should celebrate none and behave like the head of a secular government.
By first celebrating Diwali in Ayodhya and now planning on celebrating Holi in Mathura, the Chief Minister is sending clear signals that he only cares for the festivals of the Hindu community to which he belongs and the rest of the communities are beneath him.
However, justifying the CM's decision to celebrate the Holi of Barsana, Hindustani Biradari vice president Vishal Sharma said that both Diwali and Holi are festivals that have their roots in Uttar Pradesh.
While Diwali is said to have been celebrated initially in Ayodhya, Holi was the favorite festival of the Braj region and the Holi of Braj is famous worldwide. If the CM is promoting these two festivals through his visits and in the process, bringing both Ayodhya and Braj on the world's festival tourism map, such a move should not be dismissed simply because both these festivals belong to the Hindu community.
In fact, Sharma said that both Diwali and Holi are celebrated by Muslims and other communities with equal vigour in the state, barring a few pockets where religious extremism has gained roots. The effort should be to uproot these pockets of extremism and orthodoxy and pave the road to liberal thoughts based on peaceful co-existence (Sulh-e-Kul), a theory that had been postulated in Agra by Emperor Akbar himself.
When India Today spoke to the local administrative officials in Mathura, they confirmed that the preparations for the CM's visit to Barsana during the famous Lathmar Holi festival are being made on a war footing and there is a possibility of several Bollywood actors attending this festival with the CM to present cultural programs.
The CM is expected to arrive in Barsana on February 22, while the Lathmar Holi will be celebrated on February 23. The CM is also likely to participate in the Yamuna Aarti as well.
Sources indicated that several famous artists including Pt Jasraj, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Hema Malini, Dharmendra and other Bollywood celebrities will partake in these celebrations. The CM may also inaugurate a bio-gas plant in Barsana on this occasion.