By Sandeep Pauranik
Khargone, Aug 27 (IANS) Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is ‘no less’ than a Goddess for a tribal community in Madhya Pradesh as they believe only God can do what she had done for them during her regime.
The tribals have built a temple to the former Prime Minister at Padliya village in Khargone district’s Jhirniya area.
The tribal dominated area has a life-size statue of Indira Gandhi and the premises have been transformed into a temple.
The walls of the temple are painted in the Tricolor.
The statue, brought from Jaipur, was installed by the then Congress MLA, Chida Bhai Dawar and a temple was built on 14 April 1987, as per the “wishes” of the villagers and the people of the tribal community.
Kedar Dawar, son of Chida Bhai Dawar, is currently an independent MLA from Bhagwanpura assembly constituency of Khargone district.
Kedar Dawar said, “Tribals had Goddess-like faith in Indira Gandhi, which still persists, as she initiated several schemes, aimed to change their lives. This is the reason why people adore her as a Goddess, not as a politician.”
“There is a tradition in the tribal community that when a woman dies an untimely death, she is also given the status of ‘Sati’ and the same thing happened with the former Prime Minister, so the tribals gave her the status of Sati and a statue was installed,” he explained.
As per the locals, whenever there is any religious or social event, people go for worshipping at the temple.
Even newly wedded couples on their arrival to the village after the marriage visit the temple.
Tribal leader Gulzar Singh Markam says that Indira Gandhi is remembered a lot in the present era as she implemented many schemes for the welfare of tribals, while keeping inflation under control.
Today, problems as well as inflation are mounting. Life is becoming difficult for the tribals. In fact, it now seems that Indira Gandhi was not a politician but a Goddess.
Former state president of the Congress and former Union Minister Arun Yadav says that Indira Gandhi implemented schemes for the welfare of every section and brought prosperity in the lives of tribals, that is why even today Indira Gandhi is popular among the people; and for tribals, she is like a Goddess.
By Sandeep Pauranik