Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is on a visit to Varanasi and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh on 29th December 2018. During the visit, he unveiled the commemorative postal stamp on the Maharaja Suheldeo in Ghazipur.
Revered by Hindu Rajbhars (OBC) and the Hindu Pasis (second largest Dalit caste in U.P.), Suheldeo/Suheldev’s legacy has been spoken by many in the Hindutva circles.
Suheldeo is now emerging as a major Hindutva warrior figure who was able to stop and rout the invading forces of the Muslim invader Ghazi Mian, a nephew of Mahmud Ghaznavi, in Bahraich. The epic battle stopped the spread of Islam in this region. Ghazi actually means a “religious fighter” to advance the cause of Islam.
Ghaznavi was a merciless tyrant who had attacked India several times and destroyed several Hindu Temples of destroyed the temples of Somnath, Kangra, Mathura, and Jwalamukhi. This had earned him the nickname of Idol Breaker.
Ghazi Mian had designs similar to those of Ghaznavi, to plunder and maim the locals, but Maharaja Suheldeo rose to the challenge and defeated him. It is ironical, though, that while the protector of locals, Maharaja Suheldeo became a somewhat sidelined figure, later on, the Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud or Ghazi Mian has a Dargah in Bahraich which is frequented by Hindus and Muslims.
However, largely, the story of Suheldeo has remained only among the local folk circles. Hindu groups, however, have picked up the story of the valiant Hindu King Suheldeo and he has now become a central figure in Northern Hindu circles.
The Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation – International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) at campus of National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi. It will serve as a hub for rice research and training in South Asia and SAARC region. The first international Center in the eastern India is expected to play a major role in harnessing and sustaining rice production in the region.
India’s association with IRRI dates back to 1960s, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first Indian PM to visit IRRI headquarters in Manila, Philippines in November 2017, where he discussed agricultural innovations and research advances for the rice sector.
Modi will attend the One District, One Product Regional Summit at Deendayal Hastakala Sankul (Trade Facilitation Centre & Crafts Museum) in Varanasi. ‘One District One Product’ scheme is aimed at enhancing the skills of local people and increasing the reach of the indigenous trades, crafts and products from small towns and small districts in the state. These include handicrafts, food processing, engineering goods, carpets, readymade clothes, leather goods etc which not only earn foreign exchange but also provide employment to the people.