In a world of favoritism, agenda setting and propaganda, let’s us try to see things in a fair and unbiased way.
The topic which is currently most talked about in India is Statue of Unity. The name depicts itself as something which holds belongingness, brotherhood and togetherness but ironically it is currently creating conflict of interest and disagreements among Indian citizens.
Initiated in 2013, Statue of Unity is a tribute to Indian independence movement leader Sadar Vallabhbhai Patel, located at Gujarat in India facing Narmada Dam near Rajpila. The monument along with its surroundings occupies over 20,000 square meters and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 meters (597 ft). The budget bid for its construction, design, and maintenance was approximately rupee 2,989 crores. The statue situated at Sadhu Bet, an island on Narmada river has a mixed opinion about the construction of it by the citizens.
As it is said that every coin has two sides to it, so is the case with the Statue of Unity. The statue built to remember Sadar Vallabhbhai Patel is being politically questioned and socially disapproved by many citizens. The tribal villages nearby the monument complained about how their needs and necessities are being ignored by the government and instead such a huge amount of budget is bid for a statue. Though they respect Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, they feel that citizens of India and their problems should be government’s priority rather than modernizing and beautifying India for attraction and glorification. They also expressed pain telling that their lands, forests, rivers, waterfalls, agriculture have been destroyed due to this. The government have promised to provide land in the replacement from the one taken away from them but many claim that they haven’t got any land and if some did, they are dissatisfied with it because it is not a cultivating land. Many environmentalists feel the same about the decision of building a statue near the Narmada river as it disturbs the ecosystem. It is an exploitation of the Narmada river, downstream river and it’s ecology. Many social workers expressed that it is unfair and injustice for the downstream villagers and their livelihoods. And it will create a massive impact on natural resources, human resources, and wildlife at large. Also, with the political conflict in the country and opposition parties rightfully counter questioning the current government, suggests that it is a political strategy just before the 2019 elections rather than for the interest of the country.
But on the other side, there are appreciations and praises on taking a decision for building the world’s tallest statue in India. At the initial level, this project gave employment for over 3000 workers and 250 engineers under the tender taken by Larsen & Toubro. Also, the construction of Statue of Unity in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, first Deputy Prime Minister of India, displays how India can’t forget the sacrifices and dedication of our freedom fighters who devoted their lives to make India, an independent country.
Government foresight that in just a few decades this monument will be paying off all the expenses to build it because of tourism. The statue has been made with the vision of employment for the nearby villagers as it will be perceived as a tourist spot. According to sources, 15,000 tourists are expected to visit statue on a daily bases. The museum on the life of Sardar Patel is at the base, and two high-speed lifts will take people to the viewers’ gallery which is a thrilling part of the tour as you go to the top of the tallest monument in the history and will have a view from there. It also gives a symbolic recognition in the world and reflects India as developing towards power, lifestyle, and economy. It will also register as one of the ‘to be must visit’ countries in the world which will only give growth to the country’s economy, position and power on the international platform.
So in the memory of the iron man of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity is inaugurated on his 143rd birth anniversary on 31st October 2018.
Now as a citizen, you’ve to decide which side of the coin you are on.
About the Author
Abhilasha is a student who is pursuing a masters in Journalism and Communication. She is fighting with herself to figure out between passion, aspiration, and career. She likes writing and cinematography with love for theatre.