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BJP starts campaign for Birsa Munda statue in Ranchi

Birsa Munda, who became a prophet for millions of tribals across the country, is at the centre of the BJP’s endeavour to extend its base in tribal strongholds.

ranchi Updated: Jan 10, 2019 11:08 IST
Bedanti Sharan
Bedanti Sharan
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Khadi Board head Sanjay Seth takes part in soil collection for the 100 ft statue
Khadi Board head Sanjay Seth takes part in soil collection for the 100 ft statue(HT Photo)
         

The ruling BJP, whose government in 2016 had ordered the removal of cuffs from all statues of tribal freedom-fighter Birsa Munda, has now launched a fortnight-long campaign for soil collection from villages of Jharkhand martyrs. The soil would be used to build a 100 ft tall Birsa Munda statue at Ranchi’s old jail campus, chosen for its location and large expanse.

The campaign started on Wednesday with the collection of soil from Sarna Sthal, a place of religious importance, at Bajra in Ranchi’s Hehal area. Birsa Munda, who became a prophet for millions of tribals across the country, is at the centre of the BJP’s endeavour to extend its base in tribal strongholds.

Before starting the collection, BJP workers and members of the party’s ST Morcha garlanded the statue of Birsa Munda. Following the tribal religious culture, BJP workers and leaders, including State Khadi and Village Industries Board chairman Sanjay Seth, undertook a foot march and collected soil from three Sarna Sthals in Ranchi.

Morcha president and legislator Raj Kumar Pahan said that by January 17, the collected soil from the martyrs’ villages would be brought to block headquarters and by January 19 to district headquarters. “From there, it would be collected in large pots and brought to Morabadi ground in Ranchi. On the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on January 23, a procession carrying the pot would be taken out by chief minister Raghubar Das from Morabadi ground to the jail premises, where Birsa’s statue would be installed,” said Pahan. However, he severely criticised the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha for using the names of tribal martyrs for “political gains only”.

Pahan stated, “This is for the first time that freedom-fighters and martyrs are being given due honour and respect in the BJP’s dispensation. Statues of other Jharkhand martyrs will also be installed at the proposed site, where a museum will be built.”

Besides Birsa Munda, the government will also set up statues of tribal freedom-fighters Sido-Kanho, Nilambar-Pitambar, Jatra Tana Bhagat, Budhu Bhagat and others.

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 11:07 IST

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