The BJP government headed by Shri Narendra Modi has been over-extravagant in spending public money on Hindu religious projects. Some of the religious projects which have featured in the Hindutva mission of the Modi Government by squandering public exchequer are Mahakal Lok Ujjain (Rs. 850 crore), 11 October 2022, Kalika Maha temple (Rs.125 crore),18 June 2022, Gujarat, Kashi Vishwanath temple Corridor (Rs.750 core), 13 December 2021,Ram Temple, Ayodhya (Rs.1800 core estimated),5 August2020, Adi Shankaracharya’s statue at Kedarnath (Rs.34.78 crore), 05 November 2021, Sun Temple, Modera Mehsana, Gujarat (Rs.3900 crore) 09 October 2022, Sreenathji Temple, Bahrain (Rs 34.42 crores), 25 August 2019, Bochasanwasi Shri Aksar Purushottam Swamy Narayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple project (Abu Dhabi UAE), (Rs.888 crore estimated), 11 Feb 2018. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism informed Parliament in 2021 that it was spending about Rs 435.6 crore a year on maintenance and beautification of ancient temples.
Yogi Adityanath, BJP Chief Minister of UP, during his first tenure, allocated Rs 1,240 crore towards developing the Ram, Krishna and Buddha tourism circuits in the state. In 2019-2020, his government allocated significant funds to this project—over Rs 300 crore to Ayodhya, over Rs 125 crore to UP Brij Tirtha (tourism for the Mathura-Vrindavan circuit) clearly with a motivated stress on Hindu religious places. More notable is the fact that a shrine dedicated to worshipping Yogi Adityanath appears to have come up in Ayodhya district and—from the looks of it—Yogi Adityanath has been elevated to the status of God. Pictures from the Bharatkund-based temple seem to depict Yogi as what can only be described as an ‘‘incarnation of Lord Ram.’’ On Independence Day last year, a BJP worker in Pune unveiled a temple he built to worship Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Who does not know that Yogi Adityanath with his saffron attire typical of Hindu monks publicly exhibits Hindu credential in a country while Constitution proclaims it as a secular democratic country? PM Modi too is a forerunner in this regard. He presided over the Mahakal Lok temple’s renovation in Ujjain on 11 Oct 2022 with his ‘‘forehead painted yellow with the mark of Shiva—sandalwood, bhasm (ash), turmeric and vermillion—a saffron scarf over his shoulders and a Rudraksha mala (another symbol associated with Shiva).’’ Similarly, in full religious attire, Shri Modi inaugurated Viswanath Corridor in Varanasi. He as a PM, in Ayodhya in August 2020, also presided over the Bhoomi-pujan of the Ram Janmabhoomi symbol of Hindu religion (since long a source for communal tension, religious polarisation, and fratricidal bloodbath round the country as well as the worst anti-minority pogrom in Gujarat).
On 18 June 2022, PM Modi unfurled a flag atop the refurbished Kalika Mata temple in Gujarat’s Pavagadh Hills. After unfurling the flag, he said: ‘‘You can imagine that the flag was not hoisted on the summit of Maa Kali till after five centuries and even after 75 years of independence…. It is also a symbol of the fact that centuries change, eras change, but the peak of faith remains eternal.’’ PM Modi also added that—‘‘You must have seen the grand Ram Temple taking shape in Ayodhya. Be it Vishwanath Dham in Kashi or Kedar Baba’s Dham in Uttarakhand,’’ ‘‘today the spiritual and cultural glory of India is being restored…New India’’ ‘‘along with its modern aspirations, is continuing with its ancient heritage and identity with the same zeal and enthusiasm and every Indian is proud of it. These spiritual places are becoming mediums of new possibilities along with our faith’’.
Again, on 11 October 2022, PM Modi, chanted the Saivite devotional cries of ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Jai Sri Mahakal’’ before a crowd of devotees, while inaugurating the Mahakal Lok corridor at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple, and said that—‘‘this development of our jyotirlings …is the development of the spiritual flame of India. It is the development of India’s knowledge and its darshan. This …‘cultural darshan’ of India is once again reaching the peak and getting ready to guide the world’’. So, our BJP PM wants to guide the world based on Hindu religion, or to be exact, crass communal and obscurantist doctrine of Hindutva, which is no religious preaching but a convenient tool to buttress heinous political agenda.
(Source—News 18, 15-10-22)