Former IIT Roorkee Professor turned Ascetic, GD Aggarwal, BJP's Hindutva Face Uma Bharti and Former Uttarakhand CM and BJP leader Ramesh Chandra Pokhriyal "Nishank" were shown black flags by locals during their visit to Dharidevi Temple, day before yesterday. The occasion of the visit was the Akshaya Tritiya.
Visibly upset by the treatment they met at the hands of the pro Srinanagr Hydroelectric Power Project supporters; the G D Aggarwal and team later expressed their angst.
Talking to the Press, this is what G D Aggarwal and team said:
G D Aggarwal aka Swami Sanand: As usual, the intellectual professor demanded the unrestricted flow of Himalyan Rivers (read Ganga). He's still stuck in 'No Dams' mindset.
BJP's Saffron wearing Sadhvi, Uma Bharti: Said she is not against development, but will not compromise on faith. Hence she will fight for the Dharidevi. Adding a rider that she will not allow the Government to displace the foundation rock of the temple. Although she is alright with the displacement of the Goddess's idol. She concluded her speak with an announcement -- An All Nighter ('Jagar') of 5000 women devotees will be held soon at Dharidevi.
Dr. Ramesh Chandra Pokhriyal 'Nishank': Dr. Pokriyal said -- The BJP is not anti-development; it only wants to save the historic temple of Dharidevi. He further blamed the Company behind the Srinagar Hydroelectric Power Project using its money power to stage a protest.
Local People: In contrast, those who showed black flags and blocked the way of G D Aggarwal and team, clarified that their opposition was to the outside people (Aggarwal and team) unnecessarily politicizing the Dharidevi temple issue. In their opinion, these outsiders are stalling the development of the area.
People seem to be Right...
From the look of the things, Local people supporting the Srinagar Hydroelectric Power Project seem to be Right. Dharidevi temple issue is actually being politicized by the BJP and its allied groups (G D Aggarwal, RSS etc.). The reason why I assume so is the logic which answers the question -- Why Locals will want the Srinagar Hydroelectric Power Project to continue?
Locals want the Srinagar Hydroelectric Power Project (SHPP) to continue as that way they will be rehabilitated to cities like Rishikesh and Dehradun; and will also be monetarily compensated for their lost lands and houses. They have seen people compensated adequately in THDC project, now they want to be in the same position. Now, this may appear self-centred to some, but in the absence of proper development in the hilly regions and usually tough terrain, rehabilitation to cities is a justified wish.
To conclude, Professor G D Aggarwal can say anything and act in any manner he likes. As the moment an ex-engineering professor dons a saffron robe and becomes anti-dams, he becomes a person to be ignored (Notably, the moment he starts offering scientific advice on the alternates of dams, he becomes listen-worthy once again). The problem here is not with Uma Bharti as well. As she is not the right person to preach about development. The problem is with Dr. Pokhriyal. He must not call a reasonable wish of locals as a staged "Paid Protest". And for that he must apologize. I assume that Dr. Pokhriyal may already have realized his political misjudgment. He's a wise man.
BTW, when Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was built on Krishna river in South India; an entire temple situated in the to be submerged area, was moved brick by brick to the new location. We can do the same for Dharidevi temple. If humans change residences, why can't God. Uttarakhand has a rich local culture of "Dolas and Palkis". Our Gods move with us.