2019.07.24, Braj (VT): Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath gave instructions to celebrate Janmashtami on a grand scale in Braj during the second meeting of the Braj Vikas Teerth Parisad that the CM convened to discuss the plans. While the attendance of CM Yogi in Braj is not yet confirmed, it is expected that he will attend the event.
Yogi put environmental issues high on the agenda, saying, “All the places related to Lord Krishna [should] be well lit and halogen lights should be replaced with LED lights. Messages from pilgrimage places spread to the world, and hence for the sake of environment conservation, plastic should be completely banned from these places.”
The emphasis on environmental issues during the next huge festival in Braj is welcome as commentators noted that during the recent Mudiya Mela, the Swachh Bharat objectives seem to have been completely ignored. The 2018 Mela saw crackdowns on shop owners keeping plastic packaging, however, this year the laxity led to streets lined with plastic.
CM Yogi has informed that there will be a complete ban on plastic and thermocol in Braj during the Janmashtami festival period. The CM told officials that more education campaigns are needed to remind people about the dangers posed by overuse of plastic and failure to reclaim water resources. He also reiterated that getting environmental management right is a keystone to attracting tourists from India and abroad, which is essential for Braj’s economy.
In 2018, over 300,000 lamps were lit in Ayodhya on Dipavali and it is expected that an even larger number will be lit across Braj this year on Janmashtami. In addition, various events will be organized from August 19 to August 25 and there are plans to decorate all five thousand temples of Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Gokul, Barsana and Mahavan with colourful lights.
The preparations for the festival are a massive inter-departmental effort, with Local Member, Hema Malini and various tourism officials as well as the BVTP and police all involved in the planning and implementation of what looks set to be the biggest Janmashtami celebration ever.