Uttarayini, a popular festival of the Uttarakhand and its inhabitants living in and outside the eighteen year old state in various metropolises, cities and towns, including the interior villages have been celebrating it for centuries.
This festival is celebrated every year on 14th of January as a symbol of unity, amity, peace and harmony. People gather together in fairs and socio cultural functions on this occasion and enjoy the festival by wearing regional cultural and folk attires and perform on stage or congregations called Uttarayini Kauthig.
In Delhi too it was celebrated with much fan fare in various parts where Uttarakhandi population is cohesive and densely populated. The capital city of India Delhi comprises of large number of Kumaonies and Garhwalies, perhaps 25 lakhs at the minimum, may be even more. The Uttarakhandies are second in population in terms of a cohisively credible population after the inhabitants of Bihar and UP known as Poorvanchalies.
The Purvanchalies and Uttarakhandies are therefore considered to be a credible vote bank for both the Congress and BJP and now the AAP has been succesful in making inroads into the Uttarakhandi vote bank in Delhi. While the prominent festival of the Bihar community in Delhi called CHAT PUJA is being celebrated with full fanfare in all the Bihari dominated constituencies and areas of Delhi with the governmenral support of the previous Congress and now AAP governments since long, the Uttarakhandies too are lucky to have acknowledged the attention of Arvind Kejrival government which has this year officially financed 33 to 72 Uttarayini programmes in Delhi being celebrated on 14th January, 2018 in about 75 places all over the capital city.
The AAP government has allocated the organisers of each Uttarayini function a consolidated budget ranging from 1 lakh to 2.5 lakhs enabling them entertain the local Uttarakhandies of Delhi. It is learnt that this move of the AAP government would help AAP make inroads in the sizeable Uttarakhandi vote bank of the capital city. It may be recalled that during the last assembly election the AAP has not allocated a single ticket to an Uttarakhand candidate and had annoyed the community to a great extent.
But by financing Uttarayini on a vast scale this time it has definitely won the hearts of the people of the Himalayan state living in Delhi.
The below Uttarayini function however has not been financed by AAP.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM