While passing near the Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple at Choti Chaupar, I noticed this key maker engrossed in his work. He was rummaging through the bunch of keys frantically searching for a perfect one sitting on the road-side.
Duplicate key makers have been around for ages and are a great resource in the hour of a need! They help you make an ingress when everything else fails. In Jaipur, one can find them in crowded places like markets. There are many duplicate key makers at Chhoti Chaupar.
For years they earned their living sitting on the side pavement of the shops lining the Chhoti Chaupar until a few years ago when they were uprooted because of Jaipur metro project. The project caused barricading of the shopfronts and many shops owners had no option but to close them till the project gets over. It has already been 4-5 years; No one knows when this project will be over?
Chhoti Chaupar has historic importance as it is one of the three large public squares, an intersection of two major markets of the old Jaipur city.
Many ancient temples were razed; the idols from all these temples were installed at an off location site. Some people termed it as “Museum of God” and were unhappy with the way the entire episode unfolded.
There was a big public uproar. Fearing a backlash in the upcoming Rajasthan state elections, the ruling party decided to rebuild one of the temples – Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple at Chhoti Chaupar. Of all the demolished temples, this one is highly revered. Unfortunately, the party lost in the elections. Some claim that the party paid for their sins while others say this created a disconnect with the public. In my opinion, this might be a local factor but there are many other elements involved. But who knows?
There is an interesting incident related to the razing of this temple reported in the local newspaper. In the 1940s, the son of Mirza Ismail, a minister in Jaipur court fell ill when he ordered the demolition of Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple. A well-wisher informed him this an outcome of the wrath of God, he quickly recalled his order for destruction order of temple. This might seem like superstition to many but that’s how people deduce from the situation.
The government pushes for such projects because it needs something “concrete” in its list of achievements. Jaipur Metro phase 1 operates on a nonviable route just to appease a “political connection”. It’s an irony that these projects claimed to benefit public are counter-productive to the public interest. The metro project will continue to be in loss for years causing a drain on taxpayer’s money.
On a different note, these key makers have been displaced from their workplace and forced to sit on the roadside to earn their daily bread. Poor people hardly have a voice and they simply adjust to the changing situations. It shows a big disconnect in our society.
While the destruction of the temple led to public protests and backlash which resulted in the rebuilding of Rojgareshwar Temple, no one stood up for these poor people. The metro project is ongoing yet the devotees “secured” their lord but the unprivileged people have been left on their own to suffer. I hope the “lord” is aware of their situation and will do something similar to the incident.
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