Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Modi thanks Election Commission for giving him rest for 2 days

After emerging from meditation in Kedarnath, PM Narendra Modi invokes social god

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 20.05.19, 4:06 AM
  • Updated 20.05.19, 4:06 AM
  • 3 mins read
Narendra Modi in Kedarnath on Saturday. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday emerged from nightlong meditation in a cave near the Kedarnath shrine, saying he never demanded anything from god but invoking a “social god” in what appeared to be an attempt to position himself as a link between the two.

“I never demand anything from god. I don’t agree with the tendency to demand something from god because he has not made you to seek something, he has made you to give,” the Prime Minister, dressed in a brown knee-length overcoat, told reporters when asked to share with them what he had wished from Lord Shiva, the shrine’s presiding deity.

Aesi jagah pe jakarke, ishwar ne dene yogya usko jo bhi kshamta di hai wo usne samaj devata ko deni chahiye. Aur samaj devata, adhyatma devata, uska milan nirantar bana rahta hai (When we go to such places, whatever capacity he has got to give, he should give that to the social god. Social god, spiritual god and their meeting is a continuous process),” Modi said.

To those gathered at the spot, it appeared Modi was projecting himself as a spiritual god and people as the social god.

Earlier, Pravin Tiwari who, along with fellow priest Omkar Shukla, had on Saturday performed the rudrabhishek for Modi, had said: “This puja is done for victory.”

Modi interrupted a reporter before he could ask him about the priest’s claim. “I never ask for anything,” the Prime Minister said, cutting him short.

“I got the opportunity to live alone after a long time…. In a way, I was completely away from the present atmosphere in Hindustan and uninvolved in it. I was lost here. There were no means of communication and I was within myself,” he said before leaving for Badrinath in Chamoli district, 50km from Kedarnath, where a revered shrine to Lord Vishnu is located.

Sunday was the seventh and last phase of polling for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the results on May 23 would decide whether Modi would become Prime Minister again.

Sources said the local BJP unit had hired musicians who sang remixes of bhajans on Shiva near the temple till late on Saturday night to create a religious atmosphere.

Modi, who had entered the cave, a stone’s throw from the Kedarnath shrine, after offering prayers on Saturday, worshiped at the temple on Sunday morning again.

“I thank the Election Commission for giving me two days’ rest (after the election campaign). I am fortunate to get the opportunity to visit the land of spiritual awakening…,” he said.

The Prime Minister had reached Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in style. Although it was a private meditation, his managers had released pictures showing Modi sitting in a yogi’s posture with eyes closed.

The cave had been modernised, complete with a bed, dining space and western-style toilet.

Modi wore a slate grey, ankle-length overcoat like attire when he went inside the cave. He emerged on Sunday morning in a brown knee-length overcoat.

Naresh Giri, a sadhu who lives near the Kedarnath temple but was removed during Modi’s visit, told reporters while playing his pellet drum: “I don’t need heavy clothes if I am a yogi.”

The morning temperature in Kedarnath was around 8°C, although the mercury had plummeted to minus 5°C at night.

“I take a bath every morning and meditate. The power of devotion to Lord Shiva is such that it creates a lot of energy in us during meditation. We don’t need to fear cold weather when in the proximity of Lord Shiva, whom we cannot imagine in such attire,” Giri, known locally as pagla (crazy), told reporters.

Modi had some suggestions for tourists and devotees too. “Nature, environment and tourism should be protected…. My mission of development here is to do everything to care for belief and devotion. I cannot enhance spiritual awakening but we can refrain from putting hurdles in its way,” he said.

“My effort is to work in that direction. I have got a good, dedicated team, which is doing its job. Sometimes, I monitor through videoconference and take views of the place through videos,” he said, claiming that repairs and renovations were going on smoothly in the area devastated by the flash flood of 2013.

“Sometimes I see that when the door of the temple is opened (in May every year after it is closed in September-October because of snowfall)… people think it has opened and they should visit. But hundreds of people work here for two months to clear the routes, to remove snow… and to bring the items of daily need because, on average, 25,000 people reach here every day and they have to get every facility.

“Management is a big job but such things are not discussed in our country. It becomes news if someone faces a problem here. People can also help in management if they keep in mind what kind of hardship is faced by those who ensure your comfortable travel,” Modi said.