Taking Mayawati worship to another dimension, a farmer in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba district, who doubles up as a lawyer, is all set to build a temple dedicated to his idol and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Kanhiya Lal (49), a resident of Nathupura village, around 300 km south of state capital Lucknow, claimed the temple construction was a personal endeavour.
Dalits constitute nearly one-third of the village’s population. “I don’t think any permission from anyone is required — administration or even the chief minister — because the temple would come up on one of the two pieces of land that I own,” Lal said. “And dedicating a temple to any deity is no crime, is it?”
The ‘deity’ in question, of course, is none other than Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
“To me she (Mayawati) is on a par with Lord Buddha. I worship her and I don’t think one needs the permission of a deity to build a temple dedicated to one,” said Lal, who is not a Dalit but of the backward Lodh Rajput caste. “But I won’t mind moving an application to her (in case such permission is required) through the local Bahujan Samaj Party unit.”
The Mahoba administration has said that it has no role to play if the temple comes up on private land.
Lal said he was willing to donate 1.2 hectare of agricultural land for the temple’s cause.
“My land’s value is Rs 7 lakh,” he said. “If just 20 people came forward to contribute a similar amount, then it would total Rs 1.4 crore — enough to make a grand and glorious temple with an ornate idol.”
But if others refuse to show his level of enthusiasm, he would still build the temple, though a smaller one, Lal said.