Here are quirky, must-read stories from Chattisgarh's largest city, Raipur.
Giroudhpuri: The apple of politicians’ eye
Giroudhpuri Dham, the place that none outside the state knows about, has now become a major attraction for politicians nationwide. It was recently visited by politicians like Rahul Gandhi and Amit Shah. President Ramnath Kovind was also here as a “devotee”. But, why? Giroudhpuri Dham is the birthplace of the 18th century Satnami community leader and social reformer Guru Ghasidas — known to be a champion of the Scheduled Castes.
Analysts claim that politicians, by referring to Ghasidas as a legendary reformer, are attempting to prop up their hold among the SC population who decide the fate of the 10 out of the 90 Assembly seats in the state. However, it’s not like the tourism department is complaining. An official said: “It seems Giroudhpuri Dham has become an apple of every politician’s eye. Even if for political reasons, it is boosting the tourist flow in the place, some 90 km from Raipur.”
Politician’s sex CD dislodges Sunny Leone from upcoming show?
Was the porn CD purportedly featuring a Chhattisgarh minister the reason behind replacing Sunny Leone in an entertainment show? The question arises after politicians from both BJP and Congress — who are at loggerheads regarding the sex CD scandal — protested about the presence of Sunny Leone in the ‘Rock-n-Roll’ entertainment show.
“The CD row has already rattled the clean and good environment. It will be improper to hold any event with songs-dance recreation of Leone,” party leaders asserted. The shocked event managers having invested lakhs into the show went into damage control, ousted Sunny Leone and replaced her actress Zarine Khan.
Family or party?
With the Assembly polls due next year, an apparent dilemma has cropped up for Congress MLA Dr Renu Jogi. Dr Renu is the wife of former Congress leader and ex-CM Ajit Jogi and the mother of another former Congress member MLA Amit Jogi. The former CM floated a regional outfit Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) in June 2016.
The controversy began when Dr Renu recently shared a stage and attended a programme with Janta Congress leaders. Her attendance miffed Congress leaders who are now suspecting that she might join her husband’s political outfit. The party subsequently served her a notice asking her to clarify why she attended Jogi’s programme.
Women Commission shifts role: quasi-judicial to cultural
Chhattisgarh State Commission for Women whose main functions include ensuring justice to women has turned into a cultural event organiser. The CSCW will organise “Virangana (Grand) March” aiming to inspire ‘patriotism and inculcate self-confidence among women’ on the occasion of anniversary of Rani Laxmi Bai on November 18.
The rally will have 5000 girls dressed in traditional attire. The decision has raised quite a few eyebrows who are questioning the apparent shift from the CSCW’s quasi-judicial role to a event management company. “Leaving aside their usual role, they are into the politics of pulling crowds — perhaps keeping in mind next year’s elections. Interestingly, the event will be flagged-off by the CM,” said Mamta Sharma, a social activist.
The author is the correspondent of the New Indian Express in Chhattisgarh.