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Politicians of all hues make beeline for Ravidas temple

The Times of India logo The Times of India 27-02-2021
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VARANASI: A procession of political heavyweights of different hues wound its way to Shir Goverdhanpur in UP’s Varanasi district on the 644th birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas on Saturday, reinforcing the pull and power of the mystic poet-seer who is revered across states, especially in the Dalit community.

Union oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav were among the prominent faces that paid obeisance at the shrine dedicated to the saint in his birthplace. The celebrations had been toned down in keeping with Covid protocols, but that neither deterred political functionaries, nor the common followers, from thronging the place. Union minister Pradhan was among the first to reach the temple with a group of BJP colleagues. He sat at the feet of the Shri Guru Ravidas Janmasthal Charitable Trust’s chairman and head of the All India Ravidasiya Dharm, Sant Niranjan Das.

“I delivered the message of PM Modi to Sant Niranjan Das after seeking his blessings. The PM’s work and efforts for making India self-reliant are inspired by Sant Ravidas,” Pradhan said.

Priyanka and Akhilesh more or less followed the routine, offering prayers at the temple, meeting Sant Niranjan Das and partaking of prasad at the langar. Priyanka said the philosophy of Sant Ravidas was to love, live together peacefully and serve each other as one’s dharma. There is no place for discrimination on the basis of caste and community in his teachings, she said.

Akhilesh said his party had pledged to carry forward the legacy of Sant Ravidas, whom he described as a great social reformer, revolutionary and independent thinker.

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