August 12, 2023
Madhya Pradesh, India
In a significant move aimed at fostering cultural harmony and reaching out to the Dalit community ahead of the impending polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to lay the foundation stone for a grand temple dedicated to Sant Ravidas. The ceremony is scheduled to take place today in Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister is expected to arrive in Sagar at approximately 2.15pm, where he will perform the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ at the Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji Memorial Sthal. This event will be followed by a public programme at Dhana, during which the foundation stone for the Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas ji Memorial will also be laid.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is the ruling party in the state, is anticipating a massive turnout of around 2 lakh attendees for both the prime minister’s rally and the foundation stone laying ceremony. This event will not only mark a crucial moment in Madhya Pradesh’s cultural landscape but also conclude the ruling party’s ‘Samrasta Yatras’, which were organized with the intention of promoting harmony and unity.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his conviction that this endeavor would serve as a significant milestone in popularizing the teachings and wisdom of Sant Ravidas. He referred to Madhya Pradesh as the heart of India’s “cultural and spiritual consciousness”.
Importance of Ravi das
Sant Ravidas, a revered 14th-century mystic poet and social reformer, holds a special place in the hearts of many, particularly within the Dalit community. The proposed memorial will be constructed over an expansive area spanning more than 11.25 acres, with an estimated cost exceeding Rs. 100 crores. Notably, the memorial will include an impressive art museum and gallery, showcasing the life, philosophy, and teachings of Sant Shiromani Gurudev Shri Ravidas.
Apart from these features, the memorial will also incorporate essential facilities such as Bhakt Niwas (devotee accommodations) and Bhojanalay (dining hall), catering to the needs of devotees visiting the site. This initiative follows a similar move by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, which previously erected a Sant Ravidas Temple in Maihar, Satna district, at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crores.
The foundation stone laying ceremony for the Sant Ravidas memorial is expected to bring together people from diverse backgrounds, reaffirming the values of inclusivity and cultural richness that Madhya Pradesh and the nation at large uphold. As the event unfolds, it carries the potential to leave a lasting impact on both the political landscape and the social fabric of the region.