Chhattisgarh CM hunts for Ram’s footprints, upsets his father and others

The Bhupesh Baghel government of Chhattisgarh believes that there are at least 51 spots in the state associated with Ram and plans to spend Rs 10 crore on developing nine of them. The government’s move has drawn the ire of Dalit, Adivasi and OBC intellectuals, including the chief minister’s father Nand Kumar Baghel, reports Tameshwar Sinha

Amid the coronavirus scare, the government of Chhattisgarh is busy hunting for the footprints of Ram. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel made a public admission to that effect on 26 April 2020. The government believes that Ram spent a part of his exile in the forests of Chhattisgarh. It intends to identify the places where Ram camped and develop and market them as tourist destinations. A host of Dalit, Adivasi and OBC intellectuals have opposed the idea, arguing that it would strengthen the cultural hegemony of the upper castes (dwij) and undermine the Dalitbahujan countercultural resistance movement. One of the notable opponents of this proposed plan is Nand Kumar Baghel, who happens to be the father of the chief minister.

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