Politics

From Etah’s Tiny Jalesar, These Baniyas, Kuswahas, Muslims, ‘Ring Bell’ For Temple-Saffron Push

| Updated : February 22, 2022, 1:37 pm
Updated : February 22, 2022, 1:37 pm

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Jalesar (Etah): Overlooking heavy blocks of coal that will be fired up to alloy copper and zinc into glistening bronze, craftsmen Daudayal and Iqbal sit together, with five dozen such workers, inside a factory-cum-residence to prepare priceless bells.

Much like the towering gate at the entry of Jalesar that welcomes visitors with a message  — Ghungroo Town — in chaste Hindi to this part of UP’s Etah  that went to polls in Phase 3 on Sunday, the fuselage of bells make thunderous greeting to announce the arrival of the Ram Rajya.

“Jai Shri Ram,” Daudayal Kuswaha screams.

The 56-year-old bronze artiste turns emotional as he touches the body of a giant bell that sits on the floor, weighing almost 2,100 kg. It has been approved by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust to be used as an official bell in the upcoming grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya.


On a day when he cast his ballot, Kuswaha wastes no time in wishing victory for the BJP.

The workers here come from different castes like Kuswahas, Lodhi Rajputs (LRs), Jatavs and Koris scheduled castes as well as Muslims.

“Everyone gets equal rights, everyone is making this bell together. But that’s possible because of this government which has ended the discrimination by previous government of SP regime which promoted appeasement of Yadavs and Muslims alone. Now that BJP government has focused on trade and is offering central and state schemes for one and all, we are also working like a team,” Kushwaha points out.

Etah district comprises four Vidhan Sabha seats — Etah , Aliganj, Jalesar and Mahrara – of which all were won by the BJP in 2017 despite being a prominent Yadav belt where SP held all four seats in 2012.

Bell traders in Jalesar and locals in Etah insist that they had voted for the BJP in 2017 for protecting their business accusing extortionists among the Samajwadi Party (SP) local leadership as well as to bring basic amenities like water, public transport and road network, all of which were absent during SP or BSP tenures.

“When the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh came to Etah, he bought our bell, and it is a matter of great pride for us. This is because Yogi Government launched One District One Product (ODOP). When you launch such initiatives, it helps give confidence to all of us. ,” says Aditya Mittal, proprietor Mittal Bells.

“As a matter of fact, our trade has jumped from mere lakhs to several crores while our bells and gungroos now sell outside UP in southern states,” says another trader Amit Bansal, in Jalesar,

Mittal explains the reason the bell’s sound is long-lasting is due to the soil of Jalesar, whose significance has been recognised by the Yogi government.

Mittal recalls how one of his bell made it to Kedarnath last year as well as he holds the framed photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Now when after 20-odd years, if we have a leadership that wants to help redefine business, trade and as well as protect Hindus and Hindutva, why should we not help that party. Plus we got a bus depot, Rs 2,000 for farmers, and free ration. Of course , we want the BJP to win. Why shouldn’t we? ” asks C P Sharma, a local.

Clearly, if mood were to be an indicator, the wind is blowing the BJP way.


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