Controversy erupts over IAS officer participating in a Religious Yatra in Madhya Pradesh

Controversy erupts over IAS officer participating in a Religious Yatra in Madhya Pradesh
Pic: Twitter

Madhya Pradesh: An IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh’s tribal district of Mandla participated in the state-sponsored yatra of Hindu revivalist Saint Adi Shankaracharya.

The 2009 batch IAS officer Sufiya Faruqi carried ‘charan-paduka’ (footwear symbol) as part of moth-long Ekatma Yatra. The Collector was wearing saffron saree while performing the puja.

It is said that the government sponsored the yatra on the behest of RSS and it is a political one.

According to the news reported in The Week, the BJP media in-charge and spokesperson Lokendra Parahsar later tweeted her photographs of worshipping the Charan-paduka of the Shankaracharya and wearing a saffron saree

This did not go down well with the Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tanka.

He told that, a civil servant like collector should keep away from the political events and also added that “A collector is supposed to look non-partisan and this is not her job.”

However, the Ekatma Yatra has been criticized by Shankaracharya of Dwarika Mutt, Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who said, “The chief minister is preaching incorrect ideology of Adi Shankaracharya. The yatra should have been nationwide, starting from the birthplace of Shankaracharya to Kedarnath.”

He also said that “This is a government yatra, which has nothing to do with the teaching of Adi Shankaracharya. At least, we shankaracharyas should have been consulted before starting such a yatra.”

The yatra was also criticized by former attorney-general Anand Mohan Mathur. He also the senior most lawyer of Madhya Pradesh. He said that “(Adi) Shankaracharya’s philosophy was against Article 14 of the Constitution, which says that state cannot deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the law on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”

He further added that “Shankaracharya was born in 788 AD and has revived the ‘Manu philosophy’ and caste system propounded by him. He also opposed Buddhism, which was the religion which introduced equality in the society.”

Praveen Dubey, a senior journalist and political analyst, said that “The yatra in the election year (polls are due in November 2018) has raised many eyebrows as the hidden objective is to consolidate the Hindu vote bank.”