Dangs, Gujarat, Feb.6: The district collector of the Dangs surprised everyone by his 10-minute speech at the garib kalyan mela at Ahwa on Friday when he said Chief Minister Narendra Modi was Ram for tribals, Rahim for Muslims and Jesus for Christians.
Dangs is a tribal district that has seen anti-Christian riots in 1999-2000. Mythologically, it is believed Shabri of the Ramayan belonged to the forest of Dangs.
Collector Girish Shah, a promotee IAS officer, had started speaking before Modi arrived at the venue and was dwelling on efforts by the government to uplift the standard of living of the tribals. However, after Modi came, an overawed Shah began to compare him to Lord Ram.
"It was a historic day when Lord Ram came to the Dangs at Shabrimata’s home. This is also a historic day as Chief Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Dangs today," said Shah.
He said, "The chief minister is Ram for the tribals, Rahim for Muslims and Jesus for Christians. He has done so much for all. Now again he is coming to uplift the living standards of the tribals."
Continuing with his praise of the chief minister, the district collector said, "Mahatma Gandhi had fought for the country’s independence with a stick in his hand. The chief minister is coming today to give you a stick for upliftment of your life."
When contacted for his reactions on Saturday, Shah said, "I don’t remember what I said yesterday. I said so many things. I don’t want to comment on it." Shah also told that he was not well and was on leave.
This is not the first time that bureaucrats and officials have crossed all limits to please the chief minister.
Gujarat University vice-chancellor Parimal Trivedi had bowed before Modi on stage during an event at the university. Similarly, in another incident DG Zalawadia, the then district collector of Amreli, too had bowed before Modi during a function organised by government that had created controversy in the state.