Intro: Miragpur presents a unique model of liquor-free and virtuous village in Uttar Pradesh. The village is free from all types of crimes. The government too has recognised it as a model village.
Miragpur is otherwise a non-descript village located at a distance of 8 km from Deoband on Haridwar Road, about 120 km from Delhi. One can still experience and feel the fragrance of the original rural life of India here. Ninety per cent population of the village is Hindu. The residents are free from all types of addictions and prefer only the vegetarian food sans even garlic and onion.
Some 500 years ago, during the period of Mughal Emperor Jehangir a saint, Baba Fakiradas, got some people of the village released from the jail on the condition that they would not consume tobacco in any form and give up non-vegetarian diet forever. The entire village had then accepted these conditions and took a vow, which they followed through generations and continue with it even today with same commitment. They say the tradition began in 1610 AD.
The Samadhi of Baba stands on the bank of river Kali, where a Mela is held every year on tenth day of Phalgun month. This year the Mela is being organised on February 14, just ahead of the festival of Mahashivratri. Devotees of all castes and religions from neighbouring Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Haryana also flock to the Samadhi during the Mela and seek blessings of the saint.
Former President of India Smt Pratibha Patil had honoured this village in 2010 as “Nirmal Gram”. A number of prominent political leaders of the state have special affinity towards the village and people. They included former MP Chaudhary Yashpal Singh, former minister Sanjay Garg, SP leader Chaudhary Virendra Singh, Manoj Chaudhary, BJP MP Hukum Singh and others.
According to Village Head Chaudhary Rishipal, former Minister Rajesh Pilot had special affection with the village. He constructed a bridge on Kali River for the benefit of the people. His idol was erected at the entrance gate of the village. Former UP Deputy CM the late Narayan Singh too had a special liking for the village, which his son Sunil Chauhan still remembers fondly. He said for the Gurjars, Miragpur is as important as Amritsar for the Sikhs. Similarly, Chaudhary Yash Pal Singh has a special place for himself in the hearts of the villagers.
According to vice president of Akhil Bharatiya Gurjar Mahasabha Chaudhary Virendra Singh, people of the village were persecuted during the Mughal rule of Jehangir when Baba Fakiradas from Gharoncha village of Sangroor district in Punjab reached here and stayed for a fortnight. He was served by Molhad Singh and his family of five sons. Baba stayed here and engaged in his penance. His ‘siddh kuti’ is looked after by Mahant Manohardas, Kaludas, Munidas and Raghuviradas.
The Baba influenced the villagers with his impressive personality and words. He urged them to give up ‘tamasik’ food and all kinds of intoxicating consumables if they wanted to be happy in their life. The villagers obeyed his instructions and continue with them even today. People believe those who violate the diktats of Baba, are punished by him. Thus the Gujjars follow this instruction most strictly and even other caste people also toe their line.
The people of the village are staunch nationalist and very sensitive as far as law and order is concerned. They have taken up the issue of Vande Mataram singing and Sri Sri Ravishankarji Maharaj had to come down to settle the issue with the Darul Uloom clergy at Deoband.
The daughters of the village, who are married outside, follow these customs in their in-laws houses and those girls who come to village from other places after marriage also accept this custom with all humility. No one sells milk and ghee in the village. Absence of any intoxicating consumable made the people of this village free from all ailments like TB, Cancer and Asthma, etc. The State government has not yet established the Primary Healthcare Centre in this village.
—Surender Singhal from Miragpur