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Posted at: Jul 18, 2019, 7:47 AM; last updated: Jul 18, 2019, 9:33 AM (IST)

My fondness for Himachal, its people will remain: Devvrat

Will join as Gujarat Governor on July 22, monitor projects in HP
My fondness for Himachal, its people will remain: Devvrat
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur honours Acharya Devvrat in Shimla. Tribune photo

Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service
Shimla, July 17

During his four-year stint here as Governor, Acharya Devvrat (60) has left an indelible mark on the people as well as administrators and politicians as his never-say-die attitude against social menaces like drugs and gender bias drew applause from one and all.

“I may be the Governor but there is no restriction on my fighting against social evils and taking up good causes which are in the larger interest of society and the state,” he says, when asked that he has been a rather pro-active Governor, compared to his predecessors. Devvrat, who has been appointed as Governor of Gujarat, will assume office in Ahmedabad on July 22.

He assumed office on August 12, 2015. He made news when he decided to wind up the bar at Raj Bhawan, terming it a colonial remnant and set up a yagya shala to perform daily yajnas.

Being appointed as Governor of Gujarat, the home state of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is considered a recognition of his efforts in zero-budget natural farming. “I will shift the cow I had here to Gurukul in Kurukshetra and if there is a bar at Raj Bhawan in Gujarat, I will convert it into a hawan kund as I did here,” he says on a lighter note.

Devvrat, who drew flak from some Congress leaders, including then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, for his activism and involvement on social issues, considering that a Governor was perceived to be a mere nominal and ceremonial head, remained undeterred in his mission.

“Mera kartavya hai karm karo” is all he says when asked about the criticism he faced. Even as many speculate that Devvrat could be tipped for even more important assignments, maybe political, considering his concept of zero-budget natural farming, catching the attention of even the PM, he is rather dismissive of such conjectures.

Having first-hand experience of running “Gurukul” in Kurukshetra where natural farming and rearing of indigenous cows is being undertaken, he propagated it in Himachal. “I have met farmers from Hamirpur, Chamba and Sirmaur, who vouch for zero-budget natural farming with input cost going down and returns being almost doubled,” said Rakesh Kanwar, Director, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. He may be shifting to Gujarat but his fondness for Himachal and its simple and hard-working people remains. “I will continue to monitor all projects that I was associated with here and keep coming regularly to monitor their implementation,” he says. “My more than four-year stay here has been very satisfactory and will continue to monitor the progress of some issues like zero-budget natural farming, fight against drugs, environment protection, water conservation and girl’s education,” he says. However, he is not very happy with the efforts made to combat drug menace in Himachal. “Unless it becomes a people’s fight, the police, politicians or NGOs can’t fight it,” he remarks.


Wound up bar at Raj Bhavan

He assumed office on August 12, 2015. He made news when he decided to wind up the bar at Raj Bhawan, terming it a colonial remnant and set up a yagya shala. ‘Mera kartavya hai karm karo’ is what he said when asked about the criticism he faced.

I will shift the cow I had here to Gurukul in Kurukshetra and if there is a bar at Raj Bhawan in Gujarat, I will convert it into a hawan kund as I did here. —  Acharya Devvrat, governor

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