- CM Uddhav Thackeray announced development fund for Pathri
- Indefinite bandh in Shirdi against Maharashtra government's decision
Sai Baba’s supporters have waged a war against a decision of the Maharashtra government. The issue is about the birth place of Sai Baba and Sai supporters have agreed to fight it, considering it a question of faith. Questions are arising whether thousands of devotees who reach Shirdi daily have to be crushed or Uddhav government will have to bow before faith.
Actually, despite the appeal of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Shirdi Gram Sabha has decided to shut down on Sunday. After the announcement of development fund for the city of Sai Janmabhoomi Pathri on behalf of CM, the dispute is not taking the name of being quiet. The people of Shirdi are angry with the Chief Minister’s statement.
An indefinite bandh has been called in Shirdi since 19 January. Sai devotees allege that the Maharashtra government is playing with faith. After several rounds of meetings between the villagers and people associated with the trust in Shirdi, it has been decided that the indefinite bandh will be closed from Sunday i.e. 19 January.
There has been a lot of discussion about Sai’s birthplace before, but on 9 January, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a package of 100 crores to develop Pathri in Parbhani district as Sai’s birth place. This controversy has erupted since then.
Before Uddhav, President Ramnath Kovind had also made a similar announcement regarding Pathri. The President, who arrived to inaugurate the Sai Samadhi Centenary celebrations in 2018, had said, ‘Pathri is the birthplace of Sai Baba. I will work for the development of Pathri.
However, it is true that information about Sai Baba is very limited. Even people have their own claims about their religion and family, but the question is that if some people believe the Pathri to be the birthplace of Sai Baba, then what can one object to? is? But is it just about faith or is it something else? NCP leader Abdullah Khan Durrani has also pointed this out after the Pathri dispute arose.
Fear of revenue sharing
According to Durrani, ‘There is enough evidence of Sai Baba’s birth in Pathri. Shirdi is the karmabhoomi of Sai and the Pathri birthplace. Both have their own importance. Shirdi residents are opposing Pathri for fear of distributing their earnings.
It is also true that due to the faith of Sai devotees, Sai Trust is one of the richest religious trusts in the world. The economy of the towns and villages around the temple revolves around Sai. If you look at the record-breaking earnings of the trust last year, then in 2019, there was an offering of 287 crores in the Sai Darbar. Apart from cash, 19 kg gold and 392 kg silver were also found in the offering. In the year 2018, there was an offering of 285 crores. At the same time, the average offering daily in the temple is 80 lakh rupees. The temple trust has a fixed deposit of over Rs 1500 crore.
It is evident that if a temple is built in the name of the birth place of Sai Baba in Pathri, a part of Sai devotees coming from all over the country will reach there and bow down, and this wealth that rains in Shirdi will also be affected. It is due to this wealth that it rained in the name of faith, that Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati had waged a crusade against Sai and had told Hindus to stay away from Shirdi by calling them Muslims, but faith is faith. If a barrier is formed then it is not easy to break.
Temple will not be closed
The Sai Trust definitely supports the bandh but one important thing that the trust has made clear is that the temple will not remain closed during the Shirdi bandh. Aarti, Pujapatha will continue in the temple like usual days and devotees will also see Sai Baba, but due to the bandh in the city, devotees may have to face trouble for the hotel and other facilities.