Neera Yadav Makes A Blooper By Paying Floral Tribute To APJ Abdul Kalam
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Politicians and leaders keep featuring in the news columns with praise for the work they’ve done, statements they’ve given or simply because they used the public transport. In India, however, the situation is quite different. Here the politicians become a piece of news because they made a fool of themselves. The newest entry to the list is Neera Yadav, education minister for the state of Jharkhand.
At an event in Kodarma on Wednesday, Neera Yadav was invited as the guest of honor to inaugurate the smart classes in the Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir. Yadav was accompanied to the event by BJP MLA Manish Jiaswal, amongst other people, including the school staff and principal. This is all very well, since there is nothing wrong with a minister inaugurating something in a school. But what the minister did at the event was nothing short of a humorous goof up. Only, the goof up generated humor directed at the minister.
Neera Yadav apparently paid homage to the former president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, as is customary at such events. According to the Hindu tradition, it is considered auspicious to mark the forehead of a leader with tilak to pay him respect. But also a part of the Hindu tradition is to garland the photograph and pay floral tributes to a deceased. And therefore garlanding the photograph of a person who is alive is extremely ill fated. This is the blunder that the minister committed at the event, since she garlanded the photo of Kalam at the school.
As photos of the BJP minister paying these ‘tributes’ went viral on social media, attacks from both public and opposition started coming in. While some Congress leaders took to the streets burning effigies, the public started lashing out on social media, hinting at the inefficiencies of the BJP ministers.
Looking at the outburst of the public, Yadav tried to adopt a different approach. According to a report in Dainik Bhaskar, Yadav dismissed charges and said she knew Kalam was alive. She apparently said that she was just paying respects to the ‘Missile Man of India’, whose photograph just happened to be there among other leaders at the school. She has alleged that people are spreading wrong information to tarnish the image of the government. To put stock into her allegations, she claimed that when she marked tilak on the photo, the garland was already in place. Thus saying that she did not put the garland there, in an inverted way. This dismissal of the accusations doesn’t seem to impress the opposition though. It just brings out another folly on the part of Yadav. Shamsher Alam, a Congress leader, made a fair judgement regarding this folly. He said that even if she did not garland the photo, why didn’t she ask for it to be removed. He also demanded that Yadav step down from her post. The second largest party in the Assembly in the state, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha went a step further in saying that BJP is risking the fate of the students by not terminating the education minister.
Neera Yadav is a first time legislator and won the Kodarma assembly seat on a BJP ticket. She contested against the former social welfare minister, Annapurna Devi. Quite contrary to the Legislative situation of Yadav is the fact that this is not the first garland controversy that BJP got itself landed in. During the run up to the Delhi assembly elections, BJP came out with an ad targeting Kejriwal. The ad had a caricature like picture of Anna Hazare wearing a garland. This was another incident where BJPpaid ‘Shraddhanjali’ to a person still alive. Both of these incidents only show how ill informed the BJP ministers are.
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