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Remembering Mahatma

K. Raju

KODAIKANAL: In this age of political parties and their leaders occupying the mind space of many, love and affection towards Gandhiji and his principles are still treasured by thousands of people, particularly in villages.

Residents of Mannavanur village on the Palani upper hills, mostly agricultural labourers or farmers having small holdings of potatoes, garlic, beans and carrots, are not at all happy with having statues of MGR, Anna, Kamaraj and even freedom fighter V.O. Chidambaram in their midst. For them, not having a Gandhi statue in their village was a major grouse. And they planned to install a state of the Mahatma without even seeking help from politicians and donors.

They convened a meeting and decided to share the cost of the statue among themselves. Village youth and self-group members of Gandhigram also chipped in. Within a short period, their dream of having a Gandhi statue became a reality. The statue was erected at a prime location at the village recently. They did not invite any politician to unveil the statue.

The honours went to Lakshmikantan Bharati, freedom fighter and former Madurai Collector.

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