Home Dehradun Harish Rawat is identity of Uttarakhandiyat: Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwaranand

Harish Rawat is identity of Uttarakhandiyat: Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwaranand

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Book written by veteran Cong leader titled ‘Mera Jeevan Mera Lakshya Uttarakhandiyat’ launched

By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 29 Apr: Veteran Congress leader, five times Parliamentarian and former Chief Minister, Harish Rawat has written a book titled ‘Mera Jeevan Mera Lakshya Uttarakhandiyat’, published by Pakhi Publishing House which was launched by Chief Guest Shankaracharya Rajreshwaranand at a function held here today. Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya, Pradesh Congress Chief Karan Mahara and a large number of Congress leaders including several party MLAs were present on this occasion. This over 300 pages book traces the life and times of Harish Rawat since his childhood and in the book, Rawat has attempted to clarify certain controversies that have come to be associated with his life in politics.
After the launch, addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwaranand said that he is not a political person but could not say no to Harish Rawat when invited to launch the book today, because of long relationship with him and also because Harish Rawat is a very tall figure in politics. The Shankaracharya was at his wittiest best while addressing the gathering and recited several Urdu couplets too to prove his points. He said that he had gone through the book some days ago and this book has many topics and have been written based on deep personal experiences by Harish Rawat. The Shankaracharya felt that the book has the significance and relevance of being used as a research book on Uttarakhand as well on politics. Many concurrent topics have been carried in the book in detail. Shankaracharya also informed the gathering that many people come to him and ask if Harish Rawat should stop contesting elections now. The Shankaracharya said that he always responds that political leaders’ main work is to contest the elections and to make others contest the polls, so why should he stop doing so even when he has grown older now.
The Shankaracharya admitted that Rawat has certain controversies attached with him but so does he (the Shankaracharya), but it is significant that Rawat was never deterred by these controversies and carried on doing what he wanted to do. However, he criticised the fact that Uttaranchal had been renamed as Uttarakhand and this not being an auspicious name has brought chaos and needless struggles for the state, whereas Uttaranchal was a positive and affectionate name.
The Shankaracharya also criticised the activities being carried out in name of development. He stressed that merely aiming for economic prosperity is not development. The development should encompass development of awareness, consciousness and character development.
Speaking about the book written by him, Harish Rawat at first showered generous praise on Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwaranand. He said that after losing the last assembly elections, he had been seriously mulling over taking permanent break from electoral politics but as new challenges emerge and new necessities emerge, it becomes difficult for him to take a decision in this respect. Saying that Uttarakhand was Devbhumi even in his eyes and in the eyes of Congress, it seems that sole proprietorship of Dharma and religion has been taken up by one party (BJP), whereas it can’t be forgotten that Sanatan tradition has been always inclusive which has easily accepted other faiths and beliefs. However, he and his party have been targeted by one particular party (BJP) for speaking about inclusivity. He said that like the true Sanatan tradition, even Uttarakhandiyat has been inclusive according to which, there should be concern about everyone and in particular about the poor and the underprivileged. He said that during his rule in the state as CM, Uttarakhand was perhaps the only state where a large number of needy people were granted pension. While in 2016, about 1.14 lakhs person were getting benefit of social welfare pensions, the number of the beneficiaries had grown to 5.25 lakhs by 2017. He had planned to ensure that by 2025, about 15 lakhs of beneficiaries be covered under social welfare schemes. Rawat also added that this book was just the beginning and he will soon take up a two volume phase two book as sequence to this book and then there will also be phase three. Rawat also questioned the model of development being adopted by the present government in the state and said that the plan to decongest Dehradun and focus on redevelopment of Raipur as the new area of focus was not an appropriate model. Uttarakhand has a potential to generate per capita income of Rs 10 lakh with a minimum per person income of at least 2 lakhs per annum.
Leader of the Opposition, Yashpal Arya lavished generous praise on Harish Rawat and said that he was a true voice of Uttarakhand. He has the capability to lead and take everyone along with him. Arya said that the book is a very interesting account of political journey of Harish Rawat and it reflects his vision and thoughts about Uttarakhand. Arya said that Rawat had worked hard to preserve the culture and traditions as well as the local products of Uttarakhand and his identity is akin to Uttarakhandiyat.
PCC Chief Karan Mahara said that while on certain issues, his ideas and opinions do not match with those of Harish Rawat, but it can’t be denied that Harish Rawat has been his political mentor and he has learnt a lot from him. He said that the book written by Rawat will spark a genuine debate and discussion in public domain on Uttarakhandiyat and for this every Uttarakhand resident should be proud of him. Mahara also cited certain achievements of Harish Rawat as the CM and said that tourism in Uttarakhand would have ended in the aftermath of Kedarnath tragedy but for Harish RawatRawat was chiefly responsible for early reconstruction of Kedarnath and because of that tourism was back on track in the state. Initially, people were scared to visit the state after Kedarnath disaster but his hardwork and confidence ensured that tourism was back on track soon after the tragedy. Mahara also credited Rawat with giving a unique national identity to cultural events of Uttarakhand like Harela festival.
MLA Harish Dhami, former MLA Manoj Rawat also addressed the gathering, while Surendra Aggarwal coordinated the programme. Retired IAS Officer Vinod Sharma proposed the vote on thanks at the end of the programme. A large number of Congress leaders and dignitaries from various walks of life were also present on the occasion.