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Sonia assures help for father-in-law’s grave

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has assured financial support for the uplift of her father-in-law Feroze Jehangir Gandhi...

Written by AMIT SHARMA | Allahabad |
November 21, 2005

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has assured financial support for the uplift of her father-in-law Feroze Jehangir Gandhi’s grave here. The work is expected to start within a fortnight and Sonia might pay a visit to the place as she did five years ago.

‘‘He is not dead. Who lifts thy glorious mind on high to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die,’’ reads the epitaph on the grave of Feroze Gandhi, husband of late PM Indira Gandhi at Stanley road on Allahabad-Lucknow Highway here.

Since Feroze was buried at this graveyard in 1966, the place lay neglected. It was Feroze’s nephew Rustom Gandhi, born and brought up in Allahabad, who decided to ‘‘glorify’’ his uncle by seeking help from the ‘‘daughter-in-law’’.

He is also making an attempt to seek help from the administration and plans to meet UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav for the cause. ‘‘I had written to Sonia Gandhi two months ago and met her personally to appeal for help in beautifying the graveyard of Feroze Gandhi. In Parsi religion, we believe graveyard is the place where everyone should not be allowed to walk in, which is why we are not raising a memorial. Since here lies a person who was the husband of the late Indian PM, we cannot ignore the place either,’’ Rustom Gandhi, a trustee of Allahabad Parsi-Zorostrian Anjuman, which looks after the Parsi graveyard, told The Indian Express.

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The city around 20 Parsi families and the graveyard at Stanley Road has not more than 100 graves. Sonia Gandhi, during a visit here five years ago, had expressed concern over the deterriorating condition of the place but had not assured any help for its uplift.

‘‘Now, after Soniaji has agreed to help, we expect some support from the local administration. I have letters to the DM in the last two years to help maintain the approach road to the graveyard but to no avail,’’ said Rustom. But help, it seems, is on the way.

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