PATNA: If ancient sage Ashtavakra of the Ashtavakra Samhita fame who had deformities in eight parts of his body had been at Patna, he would have had bellyful of laughter on Sunday, as state BJP leaders swooped upon CM Nitish Kumar with more waspish comments on him for his remarks on BJP’s fancy for Yoga drills, also on the body of their party’s national chief Amit Shah’s, and obliquely even on ’56-inch chest’ of PM Narendra Modi.
Shah is to participate in the mass Yoga drill being organized at Patna on June 21. If Nitish had poked a pole at hornets’ nest with his remarks on Saturday that Shah should look at his body in the mirror and practise yoga before deciding to participate in the mass drill, and so on, state BJP leaders on Sunday turned into a bevy of wasps and tried to sting Nitish with more venom.
Probably, it is for the first time that shape, form and physiology of human body without conceptual frame have come into lingua of the state’s political amphitheatre. The state assembly elections are due in September-October. In sum, the state BJP leaders, in their counter charges at Nitish, represented him as a person with unhealthy body and mind that is not at peace with itself, who is overly stressed, and even as one who is given to “habitual tobacco-chewing, and has also lost his mental balance”.
Union communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in his counter charge at Nitish, said, “Yoga is good for healthy body and mind; the practice of ‘pranayam’ is must for peaceful mind. Nitish Kumar should practise it.”
Leader of opposition in the state assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said, “Nitish is a worried man. He, probably, is full of stress. It appears to be so from his remarks.”
However, former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (SuMo), Nitish’s junior for seven and half years till the BJP-JD (U) tie was snapped, was at his venomous worst. “CM Nitish has displayed his meanness by making unbecoming comments on yoga, Indian soldiers, and BJP national president,” SuMo said, adding that Nitish should have flinched from his remarks, because the International Yoga Day has been ratified by 177 countries at the UN.
SuMo said Nitish was in the habit of tobacco-chewing, and his remarks were like “spitting tobacco” on the celebrations of International Yoga Day. He also said Nitish’s remarks originated from the fact that state’s crime graph is rising, its growth rate falling, and his political base slipping out.
“His (Nitish’s) mental balance is so much disturbed that he has started making cheap comments on the body of our party president. It is born out of his friendship with RJD chief Lalu Prasad,” SuMo said, adding: “Nitish’s fall at Lalu’s feet for his support was like stooping to lick his (Lalu’s) spit from the ground.”
For his part, Nitish had said BJP dragged yoga into controversy and behaved in a manner that was against the spirit of yoga, and advised Shah to practise yoga privately at his home. When Nitish was asked about hoisting of ISIS’s flag at Srinagar, he had said those running the Centre with 56-inch chest should explain it.