Updated January 19th, 2024 at 23:01 IST
Ahead of Ram Mandir Consecration, Mahatma Gandhi's Lookalike Reaches Ayodhya on Foot
A Mahatma Gandhi lookalike, clad minimally and traversing barefoot with a stick, garnered attention on Ayodhya's Ram Path on a chilly Friday morning.
Karnataka: A Mahatma Gandhi lookalike, clad minimally and traversing barefoot with a stick, garnered attention on Ayodhya's Ram Path on a chilly Friday morning.
This doppelganger, an ardent devotee of Lord Ram, warmly responded to greetings and willingly posed for selfies with passersby. His round-framed, lens-less spectacles and a chain watch added to the striking resemblance to Mahatma Gandhi.
Holding a placard stating 'samaj seva mera janm siddh adhikaar hai' (Social service is my birthright), meet 54-year-old Mutanna Tirlapur, hailing from Karnataka's Gadag district. He expressed that chanting the name of Lord Ram invigorates him, enabling him to endure the cold weather.
Tirlapur shared, "I have come to Ayodhya from Karnataka after covering almost 2,000 kilometres on foot. I left my village on December 9 to reach this place." He detailed his daily trek of 40-50 kilometres, sometimes even 60-70 kilometres, and currently, due to the cold, around 30 kilometres each day.
When asked about facing the cold with minimal clothing, Tirlapur responded, “Yes, I do feel cold. But, as I take the name of Lord Ram and pray to him, I get energised. After this, I do not feel any problem.”
Expressing gratitude for the newly built Ram Mandir, Tirlapur said, “I feel very happy. At times I feel that I am in heaven. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from the bottom of my heart for getting the temple of Shri Ram built in Ayodhya.”
Dressing like Mahatma Gandhi for 15 years, Tirlapur aims to spread awareness about Gandhi's values. His family, he shared, is pleased with his pilgrimage.
Tirlapur's message to the people of Ayodhya is one of peace and love, emphasizing that India is a peace-loving nation. In addition to his attire resembling Gandhi, Tirlapur carried a placard featuring images of Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, APJ Abdul Kalam, and Swami Vivekanand.
The placard also showcased pictures of Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman, Lord Hanuman, and the upcoming Ram Mandir, conveying messages urging environmental protection, a liquor-free country, soil conservation, wildlife preservation, and ending cruelty towards animals.
Tirlapur concluded with a poignant message, "Patriotism is similar to God. Betrayal to the country is like death even if one is alive. It is fine to leave the house, but one should not leave one's aim. Dying without achieving anything is an insult to even death."
A local taxi operator remarked on the surprising encounter, noting Tirlapur's uncanny resemblance to Gandhi and his resilience in the cold.
Published January 19th, 2024 at 22:55 IST