Chhatpuja is an ancient festival celebrated by Hindus and Jains alike. It is believed to be the only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, and Chhathi Maiya, a Vedic Goddess. The Chhat Puja is performed to thank the Sun God for sustaining life and providing energy. The worshippers request the Sun God for prosperity and progress. People also invoke Chhathi Maiya, also known as Usha in the Vedas. She is believed to be the consort or wife of the Sun God. People pray to her asking for salvation.
Worshippers pray to the Gods, perform religious rituals and make offerings to the Gods. It is also customary to undergo a fast and bathe in the Ganges. All the rituals are observed over a span of four days. The Chhat Puja rituals find mention in the Mahabharata.
The Centre is planning to create a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) to implement the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project. Interlinking the rivers of India has been one of the major initiative of the NDA government at the Centre.
Ken-Betwa River Linking Project
The Ken-Betwa link is one of the 16 river linking proposals under the Peninsular Component of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for water resources development. It envisages diversion of surplus water from the Ken basin to the water-deficit Betwa basin. The project will have a dam on Ken river along with a 221 km link canal. The project was conceived in two phases, with the first phase benefitting both states, and the second phase confined to Madhya Pradesh. There are plans to implement both phases at the same time.
The project is expected to facilitate annual irrigation for 6.35 lakh hectares and supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people. Also, a 78MW hydropower plant is expected to become operational after the two rivers are linked.
The project will involve the two neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, both of which have in principle given their consent for creation of the SPV. Also the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its approval for conducting the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Study for the project.
The 98th birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was celebrated on the 25th of September, with the Madhya Pradesh Government establishing a Chair in his honour at Makhanlal University. Pandit Deendayal was an eminent political activist and philosopher. He was a noted leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which is considered a precursor to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
Pandit Deendayal was born in 1916 in what is now Uttar Pradesh. He excelled in academics since a young age and was even selected to the Provincial Services. However, he chose to dedicate his life to the common man and engage in public service instead of joining the Provincial Services.
A critic of both capitalism and communism, Pandit Deendayal advocated his own brand of Integral Humanism which combined morality in politics and a human centric approach to economics. He strongly supported swadeshi and small scale industrialization. He upheld nationalistic ideals, and believed that blindly adhering to Western ideologies wouldn’t be a suitable path for India.
Along with an active political career, he also engaged in various literary endeavors. He established his own publishing house named Rashtra Dharma Prakashan and brought out the monthly Rashtra Dharma. He also launched and edited the weekly Panchjanya and the daily Swadesh from Lucknow. He also wrote a drama on Chandragupta Maurya, a biography of Shankaracharya and also translated a Marathi biography of K.B.Hedgewar.
He suffered an untimely death in 1968 when he was assassinated in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh.