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.