बनारस और दिल्ली में पत्रकारिता में लंबी पारी खेलने वाले वरिष्ठ पत्रकार सुफल कुमार ने बनारस में हो रहे ऐतिहासिक लोकसभा चुनाव को लेकर एक ब्लाग लांच किया है. इस बारे में सुफल कुमार ने अपने मित्रों-शुभचिंतकों को भेजे एक ई-संदेश में कहा है-
''i have recently launched a blog (http://varanasidateline.blogspot.in) on Varanasi elections. it will be bilingual, Hindi and English, though initially it contains English dispatches. blog is aimed to facilitate media persons and common readers to understand different facets of the holy city. regards, suphal kumar''
इस ब्लाग के बारे में सुफल कुमार का कहना है- ''As world’s oldest city is all set to witness an epic election battle on May 12, 2014, Banarasis are duty bound to facilitate fellow journalists from India and abroad, curious India watchers and down to earth researchers understand vital facets of the city evolved over the centuries. The blog is aimed to fulfill needs of surfers looking for historical, cultural and political perspective of the current electoral battle, which in a way would decide the fate of India. blog will carry basic election data, profiles, keen contests and political history of the city and much more.''
इस ब्लाग पर सुफल कुमार ने ''Varanasi : god’s own constituency'' शीर्षक से एक सीरिज लिख रहे हैं. सुफल कुमार से संपर्क firstname.lastname@example.org के जरिए किया जा सकता है. पेश है ब्लाग पर प्रकाशित सीरिज का पहला आर्टकिल…
Varanasi: god’s own constituency
Narendra Modi vs Arvind Kejriwal
Varanasi is a great challenge for journalists, for that matter it is no less a great challenge for gods. When Shiva, lord of destruction, chose this city as his winter capital (summer capital is at Kailas-Mansarovar in the Himalayas) he faced stiff resistance from Banarsis. But the latter finally gave in and accepted Shiva as presiding deity of the city. It is not clear what made the Banarasis undergo this change of heart, but one of the reasons must be, as one understands the Banarasis temperament, the fascination for worshiping the phallus. So, virtually every household has a shivaling. And like any enlightened scholars Banarasis know the shivalingas is in reality an emblem of light- the light of life and liberation.
And today when the lesser gods of Indian politics are descending here from every nook and corner from the country one wonders how Banarasis will negotiate these guests. And there are many advice of caution for new arrivals. In a city where everybody is a guru and raja don’t ever boast of your credentials before Banarasis lest you will face blunt rebuke: Tun hayuwa ke? (Who are you, by the way) ……ladaoo? And please don’t ask for translation of the key word. And if you keep asking the meaning, kem chhe, kem chhe then listen- ladaoo chhe.
Please don’t misunderstand Banarasis we are not xenophobic. We actually consider outsiders as our siblings. There is always a Banarasi element in every human being. Every one carries a Banarasi DNA, dormant or awakened. late Chakachak Banarasi, the ‘national poet” of Banaras, in his famous kundlis, used to narrate the genesis of various castes and communities of India. In the annual holi kavi sammelan at Assi, the famous poet, in the presence of thousands of revelers, would remind them that their birth, much more than anything, was result of pilgrimage to the holy city. Chakachak would say, ask your forefathers, they will proudly admit- hum tirthe se vansh badayib tor baap ka kaa (I would extend my clan undertaking pilgrimage to Varanasi, no quarrel please)
So Narendra Modi or Arvind Kejriwal or any other mortal aspirants, all are welcome in the holy city. It is on our conditions and at their own risk.
In fact Narendra Modi is the third Gujarati , in recent centuries, who is seeking seal of authority of Kashi for his carrier. Founder of Arya Samaj Swami Dayanand visited the holy city in late 19th century to convert the pundits to his new creed. Banarasis would claim that Swami Dayanand was thoroughly defeated in shastrartha. A few decade later Mahatma Gandhi came to Varanasi to seek blessing of grand old lady of Indian nationalism Annie Besant. Mahatma visited the city many times and had a love and hate relationship with the city.Now it is Narendra Modi's turn to win over Banarasis for his claim for post of Prime Minister. his main challenger will be Arvind Kejriwal from Haryana.
For us banarasis both of them are trainee ganas of lord Shiva. in the holy city they would initiated in full ganaship.