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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Chhattisgarh CM Vishnu Deo Sai hints at reviving Ghar Wapsi among tribals

Tribals are primarily Nature worshippers and have their own Dev and Devis. More than 300 years of Bastar Dussera has not been able to stamp away that part of their culture and assimilate them to worship mainstream Hindu gods.

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By Neeraj Mishra

If his recent utterances are anything to go by, Vishnu Deo Sai, the tribal flag-bearer and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, is seeking to bring the Adivasis into the Hindu fold. Either that or he has been given a strict line of action from his ideological superiors to follow a particular line of action in the state. It is pertinent that he has chosen to do so from his own political forbear Dilip Singh Judeo’s backyard Jashpur and during the ongoing elections.

Judeo was well known for his “Ghar Wapsi” programmes during his life time. He would wash the feet of tribal Christians “returning to the Hindu fold” in his tribal region of Jashpur-Raigarh. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha twice and became a Union Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He was well on his way to becoming the Chhattisgarh chief minister when a hidden-camera-cash stunt by Amit Jogi felled him and finished his political career.

Sai, his protégé, has become the chief minister and is seeking to revive his cultural efforts. The moot question, of course, is whether tribals coming back from Christianity were originally Hindus or the Ghar Wapsi programmes were actually the induction of tribals into another religion. Sai answered this in one fell swoop. “Adivasis who worship Shiva and Parvati are Hindus,” he declared in Jashpur at an RSS programme and then again in Mandla in Madhya Pradesh on the campaign trail. Mandla is a contiguous tribal region. The whole belt is dominated by Gond tribals.

From Bastar to North Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and parts of Odisha, tribals are as different and varied in their approach towards organised religion as can be. The Bastar tribals are a different stock from the North Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand ones. Christianity has been quite successful in these areas mainly through more than a century of social work, hospitals, schools and churches. The Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram has, in the past half a century, taken up cudgels on behalf of RSS in these backward areas to assert their presence.

But the question remains. Tribals are primarily Nature worshippers and have their own Dev and Devis. More than 300 years of Bastar Dussera has not been able to stamp away that part of their culture and assimilate them to worship mainstream Hindu gods. For practical reasons, they have adopted any church or temple as a place of worship to escape their poverty but they have not got accustomed to any organised religion. Islam has been a late entrant but its mostly through Muslim traders from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat who are working on tribal women.

What Sai might attempt to do in his term is now becoming clear. He has announced his intentions. By asserting that tribals are in fact Hindus he has taken a lead. As his government progresses, we are bound to witness an assertion of Ghar Wapsi programmes, temples and celebration of Hindu festivals in a big way in tribal zones. It is a smart manoeuvre by the BJP through a tribal face, and the one associated with the late Judeo.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Akshay Kumar votes for the first time after getting Indian citizenship

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During the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar cast his vote for the first time after becoming an Indian citizen last year. The actor, who previously held Canadian citizenship, was seen voting in Mumbai on Monday during the fifth phase of the elections. 

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa actor proudly showcased his ink-stained finger, symbolizing his participation in the election process. In a video shared by sources, he expressed his excitement and urged the citizens to vote. He stated that he wanted India to be developed and strong, and he voted with that in mind. He also mentioned that India should vote for what it deems right.

Reflecting on his experience, Akshay remarked that it was great and he was feeling very good. He highlighted the importance of the moment, noting that the actor marked his first vote as an Indian citizen.

The Entertainment actor obtained Indian citizenship in August 2023, which he celebrated by sharing a picture of his government documents on social media. He tweeted that both his heart and citizenship were Indian, and wished everyone a happy Independence Day, concluding with Jai Hind.

Discussing his decision, Akshay revealed that he hadn’t visited Canada for nearly a decade, despite holding Canadian citizenship. He mentioned that for 9 to 10 years he hadn’t gone there, although it was a very nice place and one of his best friends lived there. He decided that he should take Indian citizenship and noted that it was just a coincidence that he received a letter on August 15 confirming his citizenship.

Akshay initially applied for Canadian citizenship in the 1990s after facing a series of box office failures. He contemplated starting a cargo business in Canada with a friend. However, his fortunes changed with successful films, leading him to return to India. Despite the lomg process, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Akshay renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2019. He explained that it was just a travel document and that he pays his taxes in India, where he is the highest taxpayer.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his wife cast their votes in Lucknow

In the ongoing Lok Sabha election in Lucknow, Singh is contesting against Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Sarwar Malik

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with his wife Savitri Singh, cast their votes on Monday in Lucknow during the 3rd phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Singh, who is the sitting MP and BJP candidate from the Lucknow constituency, appealed to voters all over India to exercise their franchise.

Rajnath Singh said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) aims to cross 400 seats this time. He did not wish to predict the exact number of seats at this moment. In the ongoing Lok Sabha election in Lucknow, Singh is contesting against Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Sarwar Malik. After casting their votes, the couple showed their inked fingers, symbolising their participation in the democratic process.

Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh an MLA from Noida also cast his vote and called on voters to come out in large numbers He requested all voters to vote in record numbers. The more the voting, the stronger the democracy will be. He urged all young voters and Nari Shakti to come forward in large numbers to cast their votes. He said voting is important to build a self-reliant and developed India.

Earlier, while addressing a public meeting in Lucknow, Rajnath Singh said that he tried to fulfil the dreams of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had left no stone unturned for the city’s development.

He said they have diligently worked towards realising Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s vision for Lucknow, and BJP remains committed to advancing it further in the future.  He said Lucknow currently ranks 10th globally, and BJP aims to elevate it to the 5th position.

There are 5 assembly constituencies under the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat. These include Lucknow West, Lucknow East, Lucknow North, Lucknow Central and Cantt Assembly seats. There are a total of 39.33017 lakh voters in Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Bollywood steps out to vote

Several Bollywood celebrities exercised their right to vote on Monday, May 20. Actors Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Akshay Kumar and Sanya Malhotra were among the first ones to reach the polling booth.

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Bollywood celebrities Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar, Rajkummar Rao, Jahnvi Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Zoya Akhtar, Sanya Malhotra, Anita Raj and Kunal Kohli stepped out early Monday morning to vote in the Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai. Elections began at 7 am in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra, including six in Mumbai.

Akshay Kumar said after casting his vote at a polling station in Juhu that he wanted his India to be developed and strong and he kept these things in his mind when he went to cast his vote. He added that all Indians should think what is right for them and vote.

Actor filmmaker Farhan Akthar while standing in the queue at a polling booth in Bandra West to cast his vote said that his vote is for good governance, the government that looks after all the people, gives us a better city. The actor-filmmaker urged people, especially youngsters, to come out and vote.  He said he had just heard from somebody that young people are complaining that it’s too hot but its not hot at all, asked them to step out and vote.

Janhvi Kapoor wore a pink anarkali suit as she arrived to vote at a polling station in Mumbai.

Lok-Sabha-elections-Janhvi-Kapoor-Farhan-Akhtar-Zoya-Akhtar-Rajkummar-Rao-Akshay-Kumar-Sanya-Malhotra-Anita-Raj-Kunal-Kohli

Actor Sanya Malhotra was seen posing for the media after she cast her vote in Mumbai on Monday.

Actor Rajkummar Rao was seen flaunting his inked finger after he cast his vote in Mumbai. He was casually dressed in a T-shirt and was wearing a cap.

Bollywood star Aamir Khan’s kids, Junaid and Ira Khan came together for casting their vote in Mumbai.  

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker took to X after casting his vote and posted that Vote because you have a choice! Vote because you have a voice!! Vote because it is duty! Vote because it is your right! #Election2024 #LokSabhaElection2024 #Vote #Votingday.

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