It seems that orange marmalade is soon going to be the official diet for Uttar Pradesh. If not that, it's surely going to be the official color of the state. We say so because continuing the grand tradition of painting the state saffron, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has now reportedly flagged off saffron-coloured buses in the state. Even, the stage for the inauguration was decorated with saffron-coloured curtains and the buses with saffron-coloured balloons. This comes after the distribution of saffron school bags and booklets by the government earlier this year.
These 50 public buses will provide better connectivity to interior and rural areas of the state, where the government is planning to build ‘gaurav path’. Run by the UP State Road Corporation, the service will be called Sankalp which is a part of the government's goal to provide public transport to 40,000 villages by next four years.
What started off with just a saffron towel being put on Adityanath’s chair at his official residence and his car seat, has now moved on to buses. The list of official saffron items in the state now includes certificates for athletes, booklets with details of the awardees, certificates for beneficiaries of crop loan schemes, booklets to mark achievements of the government, information department's diary of contact details of officials, and identity cards at the Secretariat. But, the Yogi government is in denial and claims that it’s merely a coincidence.
In August, the UP government had distributed a 70-page ‘General Knowledge Competition’ booklet to school students, covering topics like nationalism, Hindutva, RSS ideologues, and leaders. The BJP government at the Centre have already faced flak for trying to saffronise the syllabus, after reports suggested that the government's flagship projects like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, Digital India campaign, and demonetisation are likely to be included in NCERT textbooks for the next academic session. Besides, this news of the saffron buses comes only a day after the Adityanath government had proposed to build a grand statue of Lord Ram on the banks of Saryu river in Ayodhya. The statue is a part of the Navya Ayodhya project which is an initiative by the Uttar Pradesh government to promote religious tourism.
However, Uttar Pradesh is not the only one. Gujarat and Maharashtra have also plunged into the saffronisation drive. In Gujarat, bus stops have been painted saffron while the Maharashtra Transport Corporation has decided to acquire saffron and white coloured buses for its fleet.
It seems that orange is the new ‘bus’ for BJP!