[ Ranjit Sinha ]
In our country, festivals and festivities play a significant role in our personal and social lives. Different festivals are celebrated almost every month for special reasons in the country – to seek blessings of, or as special thanksgiving ceremony to our ancestors, or god and goddess, or Nature, according to our belief systems.
The readers have already deduced why there is a prologue before essaying my task in hand.
This year’s Durga Puja comes with many surprises for me. First, it comes along with a month-long ‘Clean India’ campaign 2.0 and Gandhi Jayanti. The nationwide ‘Clean India’ campaign 2.0 from 1 October, under the initiative of the union sports ministry, aims at collecting ’75 lakh kgs of waste, mainly plastic waste’ and disposing of the same with involvement of citizens, mainly youths.
Union Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has banked on youth power, particularly youth clubs affiliated to the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and the National Service Scheme affiliated institutions to accomplish his ‘Clean India’ mission.
Igniting the youths, Thakur said, “We are celebrating 75 years of India’s independence. Our freedom fighters freed the country from the colonialists, and now the youths will free the country of garbage. Freedom fighters gave balidaan (sacrifice), we ask for your yogdaan (contribution).”
This is not enough. There is also another month-long special campaign from the day of Gandhi Jayanti, “focussing on cleanliness and reducing pendency in government offices.”
According to a government source, for the first time, the campaign will also focus on e-files.
Let’s celebrate the festive occasion while maintaining cleanliness in our surroundings.
Literally, I am not a sports lover, but love sportspersons, for it has a reason. I believe that the physique of a sportsperson bears testimony to their determination, perseverance and dedication towards their goal in life. The physique of an athlete speaks for itself. An athlete requires no identity card.
During the festive season, I grab the opportunity bestowed upon me to become a sports lover. The gold medal clinched by weightlifter Charu Pesi in the National Games, on the eve of Durga Puja, adds more colour to the joy and happiness that I feel during this festive occasion.
Achievement of skater Nani Sonam deserves special mention. Even though she did not receive any formal training in skateboarding, she stood 4th in the final of the street skateboarding event in the ongoing National Games in Gujarat.
Sonam, a commerce graduate from Delhi University, is the first skater to represent Arunachal Pradesh at the National Games.
Let’s pray for the sportspersons who are representing Arunachal in the National Games and celebrate their achievements during this festive occasion.
Another event, which I consider not less than a festival, is the ongoing election activities within the Congress for the president’s post.
Now left in the election fray are veteran Congress leader from Karnataka, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor. Even though Tharoor hinted that he is not withdrawing his candidature, I will not be surprised if Kharge is declared elected unopposed as Congress president at the last minute of the election process.
During the festivity, I wish that the more than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee delegates from across the country elect their party president, who knows the pulse of the poor and the middle class voters of the country and wants to strengthen inner democracy of the INC. The country needs strong and vibrant political parties for a lively and meaningful democracy.