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Miserable life of two-time MP Phoolan Devi’s mother, dependent on others

Phoolan Devi won her first Lok Sabha election on the ticket of Samajwadi Party from Mirzapur constituency in 1996. Later, she lost the seat to BJP's Virendra Singh in 1998 general elections. In 1999, she again won the seat and held it till her assassination on July 25, 2001.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai Lucknow Published on: May 20, 2024 17:02 IST
Phoolan Devi
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Phoolan Devi

Phoolan Devi, once feared as the Bandit Queen, later became a symbol of empowerment for many, especially in the Nishad community. Her journey from Chambal to the corridors of parliament was remarkable, marked by both triumph and tragedy. While her legacy is celebrated in politics, her mother still struggles in the shadows of her memory.

Phoolan's rise to prominence reached zenith when she became a Member of Parliament and got elected for another term from Mirzapur Lok Sabha constituency. Phoolan’s statue installed outside her house, signifies her life and struggle. According to reports, her mother Moola Devi (80) lives in the house. Moola Devi is now dependent on others for survival. It is surprising and highly unlikely that the family of a two-time parliamentarian eventually sees such detriment. Her lament echoes the harsh reality faced by many whose loved ones achieve fame but fail to secure their own well-being.

Politics around Phoolan Devi

Often, the politicians, eager to capitalise on Phoolan’s legacy, have used her name to bolster their own agendas. Dr. Sanjay Nishad of the BJP demanded a CBI inquiry into her death, while leaders across parties vying for the support of the Nishad community leverage her name for political gain. However, the promised assistance often fails to materialise into effective support for Phoolan's family.

On her birth and death anniversaries, she is projected as ‘Nishad Gaurav’ (Pride of Nishad community). In fact, during the 2022 assembly elections, VIP's Mukesh Sahni and former SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap distributed her idols to the people of Nishad community.

Despite all this the mobilisation of society in Phoolan's name, her family, especially her ageing mother, remains neglected. State President of Nishad Vikas Sangh, Chaudhary Lautan Ram says that the family got help during the SP government. Additionally. they have been helping through the organisation as well, but regular help is not being provided. Many organisations enjoying power in the name of Phoolan Devi shine in politics, but do not take care of the family.

Mirzapur Lok Sabha seat, which signifies the legacy of Phoolan Devi, is currently held by Apna Dal’s leader and Union Minister Anupriya Patel. She is contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2024 against Samajwadi Party’s Ramesh Chand Bind.

ALSO READ | Phoolan Devi - from 'Bandit Queen' to 'honorable MP'

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