Does any body of this present generation know how the Congress, grand old party of India got its present symbol – The Hand. Except the elder leaders of Kerala, none in the AICC might have no idea how their party had got this handy symbol for elections,1980 onwards.
The Symbol – The Hand – was selected by the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, on her out-of-power days in late of 1978, on her visit to a small temple in Palakkad district in Kerala. Temple is known as ‘Hemambika Temple’, also as Sri Emoor Bhagavathi Temple and popularly known as ‘Kaipathi Temple’. The Malayalam word ‘Kaipathi’ literally means Hand. This is a temple of the Goddess Parvathy and the deity of this temple is two Hands, which is described or believed as the hands of the Goddess.
The story or the belief, behind this unique deity – The Hands – was that a girl (incarnation of the Goddess Parvathy), who escaped from molestation jumped into the river, holding her hands for help. And the story or belief goes on and she was helped by the Lord Shiva, on seeing the hands floating above the river.
In late 1978, Indira Gandhi came to offer worship in this temple, along with K.Karunakaran, her then lieutenant in the state, the former Chief Minister of Kerala. Those days, her party or fraction was facing patent troubles on their existing election symbol – The farmer with Oxen – by several dissidents or break-away Congress fractions, after the great election debacle in 1976.
The unique deity – The Hand – of the small Hemambika Temple ignited her creative mind. And rest is the History. The Hand was the Congress’ election symbol in the next election in 1980, which brought Indira Gandhi, back to the echelons of power.