Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti seems in a mood to offer some testing times to the Shivraj government as after cornering the state government over liquor prohibition for months, Bharti on Monday announced to shun food until an ancient Shiva temple is unlocked in the Raisen district.
Bharti had reached the Someshwar Dham in Raisen fort for doing Jalabhishek at the temple which remains locked on 364 days in a year and remains open for merely 12 hours on the occasion of Mahashivratri.
She had announced her move recently but the district administration had pleaded inability in unlocking the door saying the shrine remains in the custody of Archaeological Survey of India.
Bharti who reached Someshwar Dham on Monday, at around 1,500 feet height in Raisen, performed puja from outside the locked gate and vowed to shun food unless the gate is unlocked and she offers bhog to lord Shiva.
“We only wish to get the lock opened and don’t wish to break it,” said Bharti, adding they also never said to break lock at Ramjanmbhumi in Ayiodhya, only wanted to the site to be unlocked. I wish the ASI speaks to the Department of State Archaeology and gets this opened and till then, I won’t eat anything,” Bharti told the media in Raisen.
Sensing the visit, the administration has deployed heavy police force in the place and also sent senior officers on the spot.
The firebrand Hindutva leader earlier had announced to do tarpan (ritual for departed souls) at the Raisen fort for the king Puranmal, his queen, sons and daughter and will be seeking forgiveness for her ignorance.
The matter of the shrine being under lock and key came to the fore recently during a preaching by Pandit Pradip Mishra who had slammed the Raisen natives for the Lord being in the locked gates. He had also criticised the Shivraj government for not doing anything to free the deity.
Soon after former MP Uma Bharti had announced to perform jalabhishek at the temple on April 11.
Meanwhile a senior officer of the ASI wishing anonymity said that if at all the gates are unlocked, then similar demands could be made for other protected monuments like Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and others. The proposal of unlocking the doors shall be sent by the collector to the ministry of culture in MP which will sent it to the ASI. This will be considered under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and the Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, said the officer.
Temple was built by Parmar rulers
Built around 10th -11th century, the temple was a creation of Parmar ruler king Udyaditya who had built the temple for royal family women. By year 1543, the temple remained in existence but in this year, Shershah Suri defeated the king Puranmal and turned it into a mosque. Till 1974, the place remained under lock and key, and after a massive agitation, the then Chief Minister Prakash Chand Sethi got this unlocked. According to historical accounts, Shershah Suri had attacked the Raisen fort in 16th century and had got the king killed treacherously. For saving her honour, the queen Ratnavali had asked the king to behead her while the two sons of the king were killed by Suri’s soldiers and the little princess was sold to a brothel where she died later.