New Delhi, Sep 11 The government is planning to build a memorial for Sant Kabir in Uttar Pradesh, in an attempt to woo a large number of followers of the mystic poet ahead of assembly elections in the state.
The memorial may be set up either at Kabir Churaha in Varanasi, which is the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or Maghar where the body of the Sant rests, a source said.
The source said 'sammelans' would be organised at various places in Uttar Pradesh on the 15th century poet who has a large following in the state, where assembly polls are scheduled next year.
The move comes in the backdrop of BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar Sharad Tripathi meeting Union Minister Mahesh Sharma a few days ago. Maghar falls in Tripathi's constituency.
According to the source, Tripathi had mooted the idea of setting up the memorial and demanded about Rs 80 crore from the Centre for the purpose.
Tripathi also proposed to hold special sound and light programme every evening at the memorial, besides suggesting that a railway station be named after the poet.
The source said that work on the memorial will start soon and taken up on war footing basis to have "visible signs" of the initiative before the state goes to polls.
The Culture Ministry is also flooded with various proposals from other states as well such as Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar where the Sant was associated with, according to the source.
"Kabir's quotes are old but they are remembered and hold relevance even today. His quotes are the symbol of social harmony in the country. We will definitely work to preserve and propagate Kabir's legacy," Sharma said.
The source said the government plans to compile the literature associated with Kabir and his dohas to make them available to the public both in physical or digital form.
The years of Kabir's birth and death are unclear with some historians claiming 1398-1448 as the period during which Kabir lived, while others suggesting 1440-1518.