If officials have their way, Gandhigiri will nudge out Ulfagiri in Assam.
The state is banking on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to "liberate" its image that has taken a beating from nearly three decades of militancy. The idea of "employing" the Mahatma in the image-building exercise has come from a comic gangster flick.
Officials at Assam Tourism deny that Lage Raho Munnabhai inspired them, but a blueprint mapping Gandhiji's stops during the freedom struggle for a possible ‘Ahimsa Circuit’ has been timed with the screening of the Rajkumar Hirani blockbuster.
However, tourism bosses do not mind cashing in on Gandhigiri, the term used in the sequel to show the Mahatma's ideals in a new light. They also have no qualms about their proposed ‘Circuit’ for Gandhigiri-struck tourists being identified with Munnabhai's sidekick.
“Yes, we have proposed a new circuit touching all the places across Assam that Gandhiji stayed during his visits in 1921, 1934 and 1946. These are interesting places that could provide tourists a different taste,” tourism director Dilip Kumar Baruah told the Hindustan Times.
The Ahimsa Circuit, if okayed, would take a tourist from the residence of Assamese freedom fighter Tarun Ram Phukan in the state capital to that of Hari Prasad Agarwala in Tezpur, followed by a halt at tea capital Jorhat and Dibrugarh and then Silchar in southern Assam. Gandhiji had charted this route in 1921.