As Anna Hazare's campaign for a strong Lokpal Bill gathers pace in rural India, people in a non-descript village in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh have gone a step further in extending their support to him by establishing a make-shift temple, idolising the Gandhian.
Chanderi village in Sehore has suddenly shot into limelight following the establishment of a Hazare temple there, where a mix of hero worship and cult propogation is at full display with people offering prayers and singing bhajans.
"To begin with we have installed a photgraph of Hazare (downloaded) on a Chabutra (platform) under a tree in the village on the occasion of Janmashtmi festival," MS Mewada, who along with 4-5 others were instrumental in establishing the temple, told PTI on Thursday.
"Like any other temple, we are performing his 'puja' (prayers) twice daily besides singing bhajans specially penned in honour of Hazare," he said.
We also distribute 'Prasad' of coconut powder mixed with sugar daily among his growing followers, Mewada said.
When asked what inspired them to set up a temple, he said, "after Mahatma Gandhi, who had given us freedom, it was Anna Hazare who is fighting relentlessly to liberate us in a real sense."
"His simplicity, his home at village Ralegan Siddhi, his lifestyle, vigour and dedication for the cause by remaining single in his life has inspired us to treat him as a God in a temple," Mewada said.
Mewada claimed that they were not doing it for publicity and were following a call from their conscience to do something for a person like Hazare when they saw him fighting with the high and mighty by following the principles of non-violence.