ETAWAH: As the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls are just around the corner, politicians and their supporters are making a beeline to Chugalchi (tattler) ka Maqbara, a dilapidated 500-year-old shrine in Datavali village of Etawah district, seeking divine intervention for better prospects in the battle of the ballot.
It is a mazar (tomb) of a couturier -- Bholu Sayeed, commonly called Chugalchi -- of an erstwhile ruler. According to the legend, Bholu Sayeed was responsible for a clash between two ancient rulers of this area, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction as he pitted the one against the other by ‘bitching’ and ‘tattling’.
“Candidates visit this shrine before filing their nominations or hitting their campaign trail to seek blessing of Bholu Sayeed. They strongly believe that if Baba of Chugalchi ka Maqbara would bless them, their victory would be ensured,” says Ajay Shakya, a supporter of a BJP candidate from Etawah.
It is a common belief among the locals that Baba showers his blessings only after being beaten up by shoes. “Beat the grave of Bholu Sayeed with shoes and pray for success in elections. Your wish will be fulfilled,” says Shailesh Yadav, an independent candidate in the fray. “People visit this place to pray for fulfilling their wishes.
Students, girls of marriageable age and businessmen - all visit the maqbara, beat baba five times either with shoes or slippers to seek his blessings for the success in their endeavours,” says Sheraz, a resident of Datavali.
Not only the local residents, but people from far-off places stop here to pay obeisance at maqbara and seek blessings from the Chugalchi, says Kamlesh, another native of Datavali.
Anis, a native of adjoining Kannauj, the city of perfumes, is waiting in queue for his turn to beat the grave and seek help.
"I have come here to pray for my leader's victory in the Assembly election," he explains. Anis believes in the year-old tradition that by beating the grave five times will protect his candidate from evil eye as well.
Situated at a distance of 3 kms from Etawah district headquarters, there are no flowers, ‘chadars’ or even incense sticks in the shrine. Unlike other shrines, this tomb has no caretaker either.