With yoga getting an international push from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje seems to have taken a leaf out of the PM’s book for some “inner engineering”.
Led by the CM, almost the entire Rajasthan government took part in a two-day “inner engineering” yoga camp, organised by Isha Foundation, which concluded on Saturday.
The 600-strong group of the spiritual understudies from the government included BJP MLAs and MPs, state ministers, IAS, IPS, IFS and RAS officials, among others.
Over the years, Raje had established a tradition of watching movies with her cabinet colleagues and state officials, following a conference that saw the presence of collectors and SPs. This year, the plan of screening movies was scrapped.
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On Saturday, sharing the front row with state BJP president Ashok Parnami and her cabinet members, Raje expressed her excitement over the exercise in a series of tweets: “Fascinating discourse by @SadhguruJV on ‘Inner Engineering’. We indeed have infinite capability to be responsive and responsible…Living with simplicity and working by basics is the key to achieving self awareness – our capabilities are only defined by us…Great to see enthusiastic participation by public representatives and officers in this exercise to attain inner happiness and peace.”
Opposition Congress and social activists are not amused, however. “The timing for this elite stress-busting session could not have been worse. The state is in the middle of several crises… scores of children and infants have died in government facilities in Jaipur and Ajmer, there is a severe heat wave, and (there is) water scarcity,” state Congress president Sachin Pilot told The Indian Express.
“Instead of contingency planning or demonstrating that it cares for the people, the state government has decided to have a gala time, with all officials, MLAs and ministers calling off duty,” the Congress leader said.
Social activists, led by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), wondered about the expenses incurred in the event.
“It throws up the imagery of Nero playing the fiddle as Rome burnt,” PUCL’s Kavita Srivastava remarked. “How come two days are being spent on a luxurious yoga exercise when the state is facing drought as well as food, fodder and water scarcity?”
Social activists from the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) have meanwhile decided to file RTI applications to unearth details about the expenditure incurred, if any, by the government on this event.
Mukesh Goswami of the MKSS said: “Who is funding this? Is it the government? If it is, then we want to know which department and under what head. We will file RTI applications to find details.”
Defending the government’s participation in the event, state BJP president Parnami said, “I want to tell Sacin Pilot that the government is constantly working. We just took one working day (Friday) for this event.”