A Hindu temple in the name of a Christian

A Hindu temple in the name of a Christian

Call it reverence or sycophancy, die-hard admirers of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy have found a way to immortalise him by building a temple to him.

YSR was a devout Christian but this temple at Rajagopalapuram built in his memory will follow Hindu rituals.

After installing statues of YSR across the state and getting them unveiled by his son and the president of the YSR Congress, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the followers of the former chief minister are now coming forward to construct temples. One such temple is coming up at Rajagopalapuram village in the coastal district of Visakhapatnam. Named “Rajasekhara Reddy Aalayam (Rajasekhara Reddy temple), it is being constructed by local YSR Congress party leaders. An idol of YSR has been installed inside the “sanctum  sanctorum” and a grand temple will be constructed in due course. The temple was inaugurated by Jagan during his ongoing “Odarpu” Yatra in the district on Saturday amidst fanfare. “We have collected Rs 4 lakh from the villagers in the form of donations for the temple’s construction,” said a local leader Govind Reddy. “We are all great fans of YSR and hence we have decided to construct the temple of our beloved leader,” he said.

Interestingly, YSR hailed from a Christian family and was a devout Christian. The temple being constructed in his memory will, however, follow Hindu rituals and custom. “It will be like any other Hindu temple. We will appoint a priest who will perform the pujas according to Hindu customs. People will also be able to worship YSR’s idol,” Govind Reddy said.
YSR’s followers built another temple at Lingam Guntlapalem and also in Khammam.

From construction of temples to naming the new-borns after their departed leader, the admirers of YSR have been coming up with several ideas to keep his memory alive.  “YSR was like god for us,” a villager of Kishtapuram in Guntur district said. On its part, the Congress government has renamed several programmes after him. His native Kadapa has been renamed as “YSR District”. YSR had steered the Congress to power for the second successive term in 2009. He died in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009.