Ahmedabad has installed its first statue of Indore’s erstwhile queen Ahilyabai Holkar at a plot named after her following the demand of the Pal Baghel community, which has a small presence in the city.
The first Ahliyabi statute in Gujarat was settled at Somnath. This is the second statue in the state but the first in the city.
The Baghel community has been demanding a Devi Ahilyabai Holkar statute in Ahmedabad for the past 15 years.
The statue was unveiled on August 21 in Vatva by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in the presence of Union Minister of State for Law and Justice SP Singh Baghel as part of the “August 15 Resolutions for the Preservation of Heritage.”
“The party plot was allocated a budget of around Rs 2 crore. However, he was not appointed at that time. The name was given to him as a demand of the Baghel community to Pradipsinh Jadeja,” said Barot.
“She is not only important to our community but also to this country. We pushed the AMC for so long to establish a statute for Ahilyabai, especially at the nearby junction. Finally, through Pradipsinh Jadeja, the ‘Area MLA, we got approval for the statue here in the party plot,’ said Mewaran Singh Baghel, president of Pal Baghel Samaj Seva Sangh.The samaj has contributed around Rs 5 lakh towards the construction of the statue, which is built on a five feet base in an area of 10 by 10.There are around 50,000 people from the Baghel community who reside in the city.Vatva has the maximum population of Baghels. There are about 5,000 registered voters from our community here. However, 10,000 to 15,000 people from the Baghel community reside here. Most of us came to this area in the decade of 1970 from Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh,” said Lakharam Singh Baghel, vice president of Pal Baghel Samaj Seva Sangh.
“Ahilyabai Holkar revived 12,000 Hindu temples across the country. Major temples like Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Somnath, Omkareshwar etc. While inaugurating the sea promenade (Samudra Darshan Path) at Somnath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the his contribution to nation building and cultural redevelopment in the 18th century,” Lakharam said.
“She is the icon of women empowerment and a pioneer in education, especially for women. But hardly anyone knows about her. She is the first Indian queen to have ruled the subcontinent, that too for 28 years. No not only that, but we need to learn from their tools and tactics of governance, said Nandkishor Dhangar, the convener of Pal Baghel Samaj Seva Sangh. The community member now plans to demand the inclusion of a chapter on Ahliyabi Holkar and the their nation-building works in the school curriculum.”