Monday, January 28, 2008

Margao gets a new statue

On the night of 24th January, a statue shrouded in white stands on a granite clad pedestal at the historic Lohia Maidan in Margao. It will be unveiled on the next day, the eve of Republic Day.

On the morning of the next day, veteran freedom fighter and convenor of MARG (an NGO working towards road safety in Goa) Gurunath Kelekar is busy getting things organised. He was instrumental in getting this statue installed.

Five in the evening. Political heavyweights Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Luizinho Faleiro are among the 'machier boslele manest'. Kelekar, still wearing his trademark white cap, orates on the background of the statue and this historic venue, which he calls Margao's sacred temple. It was here on the 18th of June 1946, that the great nationalist Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia gave a call to the citizens of Goa to assert their rights in the face of a clampdown on the civil liberties of Goans by the Portuguese regime.

At around six o'clock, the statue of Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia is unveiled and the crowd throngs to pay their respects to the leader who is remembered on every 18th June on Goa Revolution Day.

The aam admi's Chief Minister bites into a snack at the end of the event, with his eyeglasses perched high up on his forehead.

I found it interesting that most of the people who offered flowers at the statue also walked around the statue in a clockwise direction, a ritual observed in temples where the devotee walks around the garba graha (sanctum sanctorum).

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José Lourenço - Margao,Goa

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