Will the AOL Event Be the Next Victim of the Yamuna Jinx?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar should be wary of the Yamuna jinx, which has claimed many a political victim.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ‘World Culture Festival’ on the Yamuna floodplain in east Delhi, next to the Delhi-Noida expressway has been slammed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Even though the event will go on as planned, the Art of Living (AOL) Foundation has had at least some of its sheen dulled by the controversy. The NGT has given AOL time till Friday to pay the Rs 5 crore fine.
But that’s not all.
Farmers from the 1000 acre area where the event will take place are up in arms about poor compensation and ruined crops, and the Delhi Police has questioned the safety of the structures.
According to reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior members of the government will be attending the event on the banks of the Yamuna.
Now, if you are of a superstitious person, you would be worried. After all, the Yamuna has jinxed many a political fortune in the past.
For UP CMs, Noida a No-Go Area
Chief Ministers from Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populous and politically significant state in India like to avoid Noida (New Okhla Industrial Area). Right next to the Yamuna, a visit to this Delhi suburb has been bad luck for many UP leaders. In December 2015 for example, Akhilesh Yadav did not attend a function in Noida where PM Modi was laying the foundation stone for the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.
Akhilesh is not the first CM to avoid Noida. The ‘jinx’ began in 1988 when the then chief minister Bahadur Singh lost the election just a few days after visiting Noida. The trend has continued since then, and has only fueled the Noida-phobia.
ND Tiwari in 1989, Mulayam Singh in 1995, Mayawati in 1997 and Kalyan Singh in 1999, all lost power soon after visiting Noida. While there is no connection between their visits and their political fortunes, a coincidence of this magnitude provides great soil for superstition to grow.
The Commonwealth Village, a Testament to UPA’s Fall
The 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, helped bring down two governments, which between them had been in power for 25 years. Both the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and Sheila Dixit’s government in Delhi took a serious hit to their image due to the scam.
The Commonwealth Games Village, a huge complex with sports facilities, residential complexes and offices was built on the banks of the Yamuna (not too far from Sri Sri’s 1000 acre concert/devotional arena), became a symbol of the alleged corruption that accompanied the international event.
The Yamuna certainly didn’t bring Suresh Kalmadi, Shiela Dixit or Manmohan Singh much luck there.
Sri Sri has claimed that he will leave the floodplain more beautiful and ecologically sound than he found it. Let’s hope he is telling the truth, the river can be pretty temperamental.
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