What is BJP’s Political Strategy Ahead of Prayagraj Kumbh Mela?
The current government has a habit of remodelling what already exists. Perhaps it started with dismantling the Planning Commission to form the Niti Aayog. Subsequently, it inducted a new tax regime, advanced the date of annual Budget and rechristened the names of cities, et al.
The Kumbh Mela 2019 is a manifestation of this fetish in its very name. Technically, 2019 is an ‘Ardh Kumbh’ year – an event that takes place six years after the ‘Purna Kumbh’ (which is organised every 12 years). But then again, 2019 is also the year of general elections. Visualise the mise-en-scène of this blockbuster: A mega religious event at one of the most prominent pilgrimage seats of the country, situated in the most populous and politically-effervescent state, which is in turn headed by a saffron-clad head of a mutt… All that in the election year.
Taking the liberty to paraphrase poet Amir Khusro, it would be apt to say, “If there exists a heady cocktail of politics and religiosity, Hameen Ast-o Hameen Ast-o Hameen Ast.”