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Encashing the spiritual essence of Kashi: Residents facing evacuation for Jagannath corridor

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Encashing the spiritual essence of Kashi: Residents facing evacuation for Jagannath corridor
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Over 300 houses in Kashi are on the brink of demolition as they fall in the path of the proposed Jagannath corridor, for which the district administration has notified the residents that they have to evacuate, according to a report by The Wire.

The people, who claim ownership of the land handed down to them for generations from their forefathers, perceive the authorities' actions as an unjust encroachment upon their heritage and rights.

As plans for the corridor gain momentum, residents have been served notices by the subdivisional magistrate's court, urging them to evacuate the land owned by the government. The residents allege that their appeal to be heard was met with the local authority stating that objections from above prevented them from addressing the residents' concerns.

For these locals, the struggle transcends mere property disputes; it embodies a clash of values and visions for the sacred city of Kashi. They lament the apparent disregard for their voices, highlighting the disparity between promises of progress and the harsh realities of displacement.

As one resident passionately articulates, the proposed corridor symbolizes "destruction in the name of progress," a sentiment echoed by many who fear the erasure of Kashi's soul amidst rampant commercialization.

Central to their grievances is the perceived disconnect between the government's vision and the essence of Kashi's spiritual legacy. They invoke the teachings of Shankaracharya and the sanctity of dharma, accusing authorities of prioritizing commercial interests over the city's intrinsic identity, The Wire reported.

In their eyes, the erosion of Kashi's cultural fabric represents a betrayal of sacred principles, a sentiment underscored by references to the epic Ramayana and the archetype of Ravana, a figure emblematic of misguided pursuits.

Moreover, the residents lament the perceived commodification of Kashi, decrying the alleged exchange of its spiritual essence for economic gain. Their frustration finds expression in pointed criticisms of political leadership, with accusations of neglect and betrayal levelled against prominent figures.

Yet, amidst the turmoil, a poignant resolve emerges. Despite facing the prospect of displacement, residents speak of a willingness to sacrifice their homes in defense of their heritage.

For them, Kashi represents more than just a physical space; it embodies a timeless legacy of enlightenment and liberation. Their defiance is not merely a plea for preservation but a testament to the enduring spirit of a city steeped in history and tradition.

However, their struggle remains largely overlooked by mainstream media, a fact that underscores their sense of marginalization and disenfranchisement. Despite being constituents of the very fabric of Kashi's identity, their voices are drowned out by larger narratives of development and progress.

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TAGS:KashiJagannath corridor
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