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50,000 hear Goddess' predictions through priest in 105-yr-old old tradition in MP

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: It is a unique spectacle--tens of thousands of people, many of them barefoot, walking towards Gauthra, a small village in Western MP, to hear predictions about events of the next year.

The priest sits on a platform and speaks in Malwi dialect for almost an hour, informing locals about the incidents that would take place in the coming months.

Locals believe that the predictions come true. This is an age-old tradition. Walking the unpaved road, nearly 50,000 gathered at the place this year.

The residents say that while the priest tells them about the upcoming events and warns them about calamities, it is the Goddess who speaks through him.

It is on the basis of the 'bhavishya-wani' near the banks of Maleni river that locals including farmers plan out their schemes for the coming months and take decision about crops.

The organiser Devendra Sand tells media persons that the tradition is more than 100 years old and predictions are always cent percent correct.

A few years ago, the priest had said, 'Raja badlega', which was interpreted as a signal of change at national leadership when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.

On Thursday (the ninth day of Nav Ratri), it appeared that all roads led towards Gauthra, the village located near Jaora town in Ratlam district.

Apart from scores of nearby villages, people came from nearby states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra too.

There was a huge crowd--people all around, on the hillocks and the trees, despite the harsh sun. However, once the priest Nagu Lal began his forecast, it was pin drop silence.

No major political predictions this year

Many people even recorded the long forecast in their cell phones. Loud speakers were also installed so that his voice could reach the huge gathering.

From telling the auspicious day and time for sowing, the priest made predictions. He said that there would be good rain and bumper crop.

He said that land should not be bought this year. However, he said that it would be a good year for farmers and traders.

Nagu Lal, who is called Panda Ji, said that there will more incidents of fire and train (and bus) mishaps in coming months. But he made few political predictions unlike previous years.

In the past, he had predicted change of Raja (people interpreted it as a change of CM or PM). Bansi Lal, a farmer said that he had been coming to the place for nearly two decades, and the forecast is always true.