Sonia Gandhi temple in Andhra

January 11, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

 

Mr Rao (left) unveiled the model of the idol of Sonia Gandhi

Mr Rao (left) unveiled the model of the idol of Sonia Gandhi

Hyderabad, January 10, 2014: Local artists are at work on Mrs Gandhi’s idol, which holds a sapling in one hand and a bowl of fruit in the other.

A Congress politician in Andhra Pradesh is building a temple with an idol of Sonia Gandhi, the head of ruling Congress party.

P Shankar Rao, a former minister, said the shrine with a 9ft idol of Ms Gandhi was his tribute to his leader.

Rao told the BBC that he was building the temple in Mahbubnagar district to “thank” Mrs Gandhi for her party’s decision last July to split the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and create a new state of Telangana. The temple will also be named after Mrs Gandhi, he said.

The 67-year-old Italian-born Mrs Gandhi is one of the country’s most powerful politician and she belongs to the influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, three of whose members have been Indian prime ministers.

“This is our way of saying thank you to Sonia Gandhi for her historic role in fulfilling the decades-old dream of separate Telangana state,” Rao said.

With a population of 35 million, Telangana comprises 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts including Hyderabad, India’s sixth biggest city.

Local artists are at work on Mrs Gandhi’s idol, which holds a sapling in one hand and a bowl of fruit in the other.

“I hope this temple will thrive and people will come here to offer prayers to Mrs Gandhi,” Mr Rao said.

Some in the state, however, have criticised the temple, describing it as “sycophancy at its peak”.

“This is nothing but sycophancy for advancing personal interest,” senior Communist leader in the state Ramakrishna told the BBC.

“India is a democracy and there is no place for such irrational practice in a democracy. Political leaders should be respected but not worshiped like a God,” he said.

“Sonia Gandhi might not be aware but if she knows it, she should stop it,” he added.

– bbc

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