Shashi Tharoor's word power in English language is widely well-known. He often impresses Twitter with his ‘word of the day’ tweets. But on Tuesday, Tharoor uncharacteristically decided to tweet in Hindi. He took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath using a well-known proverb “Ganga bhi swaach rakhne hai aur paap bhi yahan dhone hain. Iss Sangam me sabhi nange hain! Jai Ganga Maiya,” Tharoor tweeted. The proverb goes like ‘hamam mein sab nange’, which roughly translates to ‘everyone is exposed’ or ‘everyone is a culprit’.
Understandably, the tweet went viral. The attack came on a day when the Uttar Pradesh government for the first time held its cabinet meet on the banks of Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela on Tuesday. TV visuals showed the Chief Minister and his Cabinet taking a holy dip in Sangam. Tharoor had tweeted the taunt along with that photo.
Though it is a religious congregation, in the election year, the Kumbh has also been politicised. Experts believe that the BJP government is holding the Mela on such a large scale to send out a message to its votebank in the state that sends staggering 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.
गंगा भी स्वच्छ रखनी है और पाप भी यहीं धोने हैं। इस संगम में सब नंगे हैं!— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 29, 2019
जय गंगा मैया की! pic.twitter.com/qAmHThAJjD
Ardh Kumbh is held in every six years, while the Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years. The Yogi Adityanath government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh. The mela draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of approximately 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river. The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis and pilgrims from all walks of life. In all, there are six auspicious bathing dates in this Kumbh - Makar Sankranti (January 15), Paush Poornima (January 21), Mauni Amawasya (February 4), Basant Panchami (February 10), Maghi Poornima (February 19) and Mahashivratri (March 4).
According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, the mega Kumbh Mela is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study.