Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Yogi Adityanath’s government has announced a grant of Rs 15,000 Cr as the state begins preparing for the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. The government is enthusiastic but the priests of Vaishnav Akhada have started protesting against Kumbh.
Why are the sadhus so upset?
Priests are angry with the government because they have not been given their traditional land called the ‘Khaak Chowk’ where the sadhus stay during the Mela. The sadhus are threatening to boycott the event if they are not given the land.
"“We have come together to demand the land of Khaak Chowk, where 275 sadhus stay already. We want that land. We won’t take any other land elsewhere as that will be inconvenient for us. We request them to not break our tradition. Khaak Chowk is a place where the hungry get food and the homeless get shelter.”" - Mahant Jairam DasGovernment is ignoring them
The government and priests are now at odds over land allotment. The sadhus have threatened to forcibly set up their camps on the Khaak Chowk, if the Yogi government doesn't allot them the land.
"“If it weren’t for the Ganges, the holy cow, and the sant samaj, people from other countries wouldn’t come to visit. But in Kumbh, the priests and locals are of prior and higher importance, not the foreigners. Kumbh is intended to affirm traditions, and not destroy them.”" - Mahant Jairam Das
Sadhus are holding the Yogi government accountable saying that no previous government has asked the sadhus to stay elsewhere during Kumbh Mela. They have accused the BJP of doing injustice to them. The sadhus and priests’ community were hopeful when Yogi Adityanath was made the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, but now they are in sheer despair.
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