With only a couple of weeks left for the elections to the Legislative assembly of Uttarakhand, what we need to understand are the issues on which the elections would be fought. Apart from the issues prevailing in respective assembly constituencies, the elections are crucial in the sense that Uttarakhand stands at the crossroad. At a time when the nation is going through the revival or the Renaissance of cultural and an all dimensional heritage, Uttarakhand too has gone through the revival of the cultural, traditional and religious places. After the horrific Himalayan Tsunami or the Kedarnath Tragedy in 2013, the Narendra Modi government took the onus on themselves to rejuvenate and revive the premises of Kedarnath and redevelop in a systematic manner.
Uttarakhand changed the government in 2017 and since then various projects of rejuvenation and revival began. The way Uttarakhand has changed demographically in the last few years, the Cultural rejuvenation was necessary. The way the rejuvenation has taken place in and around Kedarnath shows the vision and determination on the part of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The majestic statue of Shri Adi Guru Shankaracharya ji, the redevelopment of the samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya ji, the Saraswati Retaining Wall Aasthapath and Ghats, Mandakini Retaining Wall Aasthapath, Tirth Purohit Houses and Garud Chatti bridge on river Mandakini were also inaugurated.
Uttarakhand has to decide whether the further plans of redevelopment in the Kedarnath region should be completed or halted. Prime Minister Modi, on his visit to Kedarnath, had laid the foundation stones for many projects. The incumbent Uttarakhand State government with the support of the central NDA Government plans to redevelop Badrinath as well. The stake lies on the voters of the state for the future. By connecting the Char Dham through the All weather road project clearly justifies the aim at which the cultural development is thought.
The Culture of Pahad and the Pahadi Region is under threat. The demographic changes have taken place in the hilly region. The dying culture with the migration of the people. These projects have given a ray of hope to the people of Uttarakhand. With the rising Migration and change in various spheres, the projects aimed to give rise to the cultural tourism increasing employment opportunities for the youth. With an aim to direct the youth towards self-employment, a lot of initiatives and opportunities would have to be created for cultural tourism, a game changer in the history of Uttarakhand.
The Pahadi Topi worn by the Prime Minister on the Republic Day asserts his dedication in protecting and preserving the culture of the state. During his public meetings in 2021, he began his speech with Garhwali and Kumaoni in Dehradun and Haldwani respectively, represents his love for the state and exclaims how we should speak the language and be proud of our own culture and legacy. The Prime Minister has shown the way to the youth, for whom, PM Modi has been an inspiration. The way things have changed in the hills after Narendra Modi Government came into power reflects that hills can’t be left behind in their contribution to the growth of the nation.
In far off villages, it is being seen that people acknowledge their love for his work and the Schemes that have changed lives. In order to protect culture, one has to stop migration. By providing basic amenities and facilities to the hills, the process of stopping the migration has, in a way begun. Health and Education facilities should be developed in order to break the monotony of silence as a result of Migration. A lot has been done and a lot has to be done. With the incumbent government, there have been no stoppages in the pathway of development in the state.
It now lies with the people to decide the future course of action. The State has ample of opportunities for the youth and women— they should be driven towards self-employment. Only the thing that is needed is direction. It is said that it is the people who drive the culture and traditions with them. It will be interesting to see which side the people of Uttarakhand would choose.