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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Godsend's bhakts turn to God: 11-day yajna in Varanasi for Narendra Modi and ‘Sanatan’

The Sri Kashi Gujarati Samaj has completed an 11-day yajna in Varanasi, praying to God to help Modi return to power, insert “Sanatan” into the Constitution, reclaim all “encroached-on” temples and re-establish an 'undivided India'

Piyush Srivastava Varanasi Published 27.05.24, 06:04 AM
A yajna being performed for Modi at Karn Ghanta, Varanasi.

A yajna being performed for Modi at Karn Ghanta, Varanasi. Picture by Piyush Srivastava

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said he had been sent by God to do His work. But some of his supporters are taking no chances.

The Sri Kashi Gujarati Samaj has completed an 11-day yajna in Varanasi, praying to God to help Modi return to power, insert “Sanatan” into the Constitution, reclaim all “encroached-on” temples and re-establish an “undivided India”.

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The Samaj adopted six sankalps (resolutions) on Saturday at the end of the exercise, held at the Chidanand Sanskrit Vidyalaya that it runs in the Karn Ghanta locality. These were:

  • Modi becomes Prime Minister again after winning from Varanasi with a record margin.
  • An undivided India is re-established.
  • Culture and the Sanskrit language are promoted.
  • All Hindu temples are renovated and all encroached-on temples reclaimed.
  • The BJP wins a majority big enough to change the Constitution and insert the word “Sanatan” into it.
  • Modi works to establish Sanatan Dharma in the world.

“Modi wants to do all this; so we are praying to God for his victory,” Anil Shastri, 60, head of the Samaj and the school, told The Telegraph.

The rituals were organised with the participation of the school’s 51 batuks — pupils who study Sanskrit, the Hindu religion and systems of puja so they can become priests – and neighbourhood residents.

Yajnas or simple pujas, seeking a victory for Modi, have been held in the past few days at more than a dozen places in Varanasi, Allahabad and nearby towns.

The Om Namah Shivaya Ashram, located along the Ganga in Allahabad, has been holding a Rudra Mahayajna every week this election season for Modi’s benefit.

A group of women devotees have put up a portrait of Modi beside the idol at the Sri Shiva Shyam Mandir in Azamgarh city and have been worshipping him. They are also praying to Shiva to let Modi form the government again and fulfil “the remaining religious projects”.

Shastri, asked why he believes the Constitution should be changed, provided an oblique answer.

“Everybody wants Modi to finish the work for which he was elected in 2014, and he wants it too,” he said. “We want him to win 400-plus seats so that he faces not the slightest of hurdles in completing his mission.”

A young man who sat at the steps of the school chewing paan, and said he was an assistant priest, dismissed the rituals as a desperate measure to gain Modi publicity and mileage in an election going wrong for him.

“Have you seen (the 2009 Bollywood film) 3 Idiots? It shows students praying to God out of fear they would fail their exams. It’s the same thing here,” he said, giving his age — 26 — but not his name.

“Modi knows the popular mood and is trying every trick in the book to turn it in his favour.... He fears defeat. These rituals are being held in Varanasi and adjoining districts to create publicity for Modi, so that he wins,” he added.

“After praising Modi for 10 years, the people of Varanasi have changed their minds. They may vote for Modi this time, too, because of a lack of options but it’s clear that they are unhappy with his failure to improve the residents’ quality of life.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, at Bansgaon in Gorakhpur district, Sunday, May 26, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, at Bansgaon in Gorakhpur district, Sunday, May 26, 2024 PTI

Richa Das, 35, a resident of the Kal Bhairav locality, echoed him. “We are proud that Prime Minister Modi represents Varanasi. But the criminal activities in this area have not stopped. You will find bad people fighting each other every day,” she said.

“Stray dogs and bulls have increased. It’s risky for children to step out of their homes. Development is a far cry.”

Gauri Shukla, 35, a resident of Soot Tola, said: “Whichever party forms the government should control the prices of essentials immediately. It’s become difficult to run the kitchen.”

Ranjana Shukla, who lives in the Karn Ghanta locality, said: “Modi is in a better position than his rivals in the election but he should know that the people are angry at his intention of changing the Constitution. Also, the electoral bond case has made people realise that he is not different from other politicians.”

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