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Uttar Pradesh becomes a communal tinderbox

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Lucknow: Communal flare-ups, curfews and prohibitory orders have become the order of the day in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

In recent times, communal clashes have taken place in at least 10 districts across the sprawling state, triggering both social and political tensions. The situation has come to such a pass that Governor Ram Naik has publicly rapped the Samajwadi Party government.

“I have been talking to the chief minister on this issue in the past and again plan to take it up with him,” Naik told IANS. He said the situation “needed to be improved” and fast.

With the festivals of Navratri, Dussehra and Moharram coinciding, small flashpoints were expected by the police.

But what has taken the security and intelligence agencies by surprise is the scale and magnitude of the violence in 10 districts.

These include Kannauj, Kanpur, Banda, Balrampur, Ambedkarnagar, Gorakhpur, Siddharthanagar, Allahabad, Kushniagar as well as Pratapgarh.

Some of these places didn’t see violence even in the aftermath of the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya.

Pulkit Tandon, a chemist in Kannauj, says the developments “are very disturbing”.

Blaming the Akhilesh Yadav government, Tandon told IANS that both the government and the police seemed to be siding with “one community, so much so that the voice of the majority community is not being heard”.

Security forces conducted a flag march in Kannauj, famous for its ‘itra’ (perfumes), on Sunday. It is also the parliamentary constituency of Dimple Yadav, the chief minister’s wife.

Communal clashes erupted there last week after a major Durga procession was fired at Lakhan Chauraha, leaving one person dead and many others injured.

Policemen were attacked subsequently and vehicles were torched, leading to curfew.

In Balrampur, over the past few days, during a Tazia procession, stones were pelted at a religious place, leading to violence.

A procession was stopped by the administration in Pratapgarh, an elderly man was killed in clashes in Ambedkarnagar, two communities fought in Shohratgarh town in Allahabad, a youth was killed during a procession in Siddharthanagar, an idol was broken in Gorakhpur, two communities came face to face in Kasaya in Kushinagar, and people fought pitched battles with police in Turtipar Ghat in Ballia.

The Samajwadi Party government blames the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the turmoil. The latter says the government is levelling wild allegations to cover up its failures.

A retired Uttar Pradesh police chief blamed the force for failing to tackle the communal tensions and violence.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swamy Prasad Maurya says the riots in Uttar Pradesh were a deep rooted conspiracy and the government was “a mute spectator”.

“The government has a lot to explain. Why has it not been able to control the riots?” the BSP leader asked while speaking to IANS.

Congress leader Nirmal Khatri too blames the government for the mess, and says it has failed to protect people and maintain law and order.

“What is more saddening is that even as communal violence is spreading, the administration seems to be trying to protect the mischief makers,” he said.

(Mohit Dubey, IANS)

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7 Most Famous Temples to Visit in Uttar Pradesh

show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not to miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

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Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir one of most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is regarded as an enshrined pilgrimage junction since the inception. Devotees from across the world solicit spirituality by visiting these temples of divine importance. Uttar Pradesh is known for its special attraction especially for the Hindu devotees since it is the birthplace for Vishnu avatars, Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

Undoubtedly, you must show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

The listicle shows you a tour of these famous temples worth giving a visit in Uttar Pradesh.

Prem Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir is one of the most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Built on the outskirts of Vrindavan, the Prem Mandir is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was structured by the Fifth Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Statues of Lord Krishna and his followers cover the entire temple symbolizing the crucial events of Lord Krishna’s life and birth. The temple is known for its exquisite architecture and the sculptures. Devotees visit the Prem Temple to offer their prayings to Lord Krishna, during Janmashtami and Diwali.

Banke Bihari Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Banke Bihari temple main gate in Vrindavan. Wikimedia.

The Banke Bihari Temple of Vrindavan is a Hindu temple built by Swami Haridas, the solemn guru of the ancient singer Tansen. The temple is efficiently carved in Rajasthani style. The literal meaning of Banke is “bent in three places” and Bihari means “supreme enjoyer”, which suggests that the main idol Lord Krishna is in a Banke posture or the famous Tribhanga position. It has been claimed that Lord Krishna’s statue was hidden underground by a Hindu priest during the Mughal era. It was Swami Haridas who dreamt of Lord Krishna asking him to release the statue. Swami Haridas dug up the place, found the statue and built a temple for it.

Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Ram Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Although Ayodhya is presumed as the birthplace of Lord Ram, it was in the town of Ram Kot where he was actually born. This temple is known as Ram Janma Bhoomi marking the divine presence of Shri Ram. Travellers visiting Ram Kot in Uttar Pradesh pay their homage to Lord Ram and admire the inscriptions on the temple walls depicting the life of Lord Ram.

Goraknath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Gorakhnath Mandir in Uttar Pradesh.Wikimedia.

The Gorakhnath Temple is one of the most popular temples in Uttar Pradesh and is believed to have been structured at the exact spot where Saint Gorakhnath had meditated. The main feature of the temple is the garb griha where the saint is depicted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Tourists also visit the pond next to the Goraknath Temple called Mansarovar for peaceful meditation or boat rides.

Shri Krishna Janbhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of Krishna. Wikimedia.

Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi is one of the most sacred places for Sanatan Dharmis (Hindus) since it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is a prison cell belonging to his mama (maternal Uncle) Raja Kans where Lord Krishna was born.

Located in Mathura on the banks of river Yamuna, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi temple is approximately 145 km from Delhi. The prison cell, commonly known as ‘Garbha Griha’, in the temple premise is the exact place where Lord Krishna was born.

Sarnath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
A Buddhist temple at Sarnath. Wikimedia

This famous Buddhist site in Varanasi, Sarnath Temple is popularly known where Lord Buddha addressed his first sermons. It is here where the lord set the ‘wheel of law’ in motion. Stupas like Dhamek Stupa and Chowkhandi Stupa are situated inside the enshrined temple. The temple aims to inculcate its thousands of visitors about the history and impact of Buddhist cultures.

Bharat Mata Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has the Indian Map structure inside the temple. Wikimedia

The temple located in Varanasi is dedicated to Bharat Mata with the national flag in her hand and a tri-colored sari adorning the idol, who is regarded as a symbolized figure of unity in Diversity and integrity in India. It acquires a huge map of the Mother India on the ground denoting the statue of the Goddess or the Mother of India.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana