India inaugurates world's tallest statue

Minnie Murray
October 31, 2018

Towering at 182 metres, the Statue of Unity is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a hero of India's freedom struggle and the country's first deputy prime minister.

The Prime Minister in his speech hit out at critics and opposition parties, who have questioned the government's decision to construct the memorial.

"The world's tallest statue, the 'Statue of Unity", may have made headlines globally, but one group of people were quite miffed. Also, folk dance performances from Punjab, Assam, Mizoram and Gujarat have been planned when PM Modi will dedicate the 182-metre tall statue at Kevadia Colony to the country.

Rashesh Patel, a 42-year-old businessman, said "though Patel was from Gujarat state, all Indians were proud of him because of his stature".

"I am amazed when some people of our own country dare to see this initiative from a political view and criticise us as if we have committed a huge crime". The BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have time and again spoken on how the Congress did not give Sadar Patel the credit and recognition he deserved.

PM Modi paid rich tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat's Kevadiya on his 143rd birth anniversary
PM Modi paid rich tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat's Kevadiya on his 143rd birth anniversary

Satish Acharya in Sify takes a dig at the Modi government's priorities in wake of the statue unveiling. "No Indian will forget this day". Experts said the statue is a way for Modi to showcase India's status as a rising superpower.

Posters of Mr Modi with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were torn down or had their faces blackened at the weekend.

Patel was known as the "Iron Man of India" for integrating various states in the post-independence era as the creation of Pakistan led to a massive bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims moving between the two nations. Below the statue will be a three-storey visitors' centre housing a museum, an audio visual gallery, and a laser and sound show-all designed around the theme of unification of India.

Dubbed the Statue of Unity, the vast bronze statue is about twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and has far surpassed the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which, at 128 metres, was the previous... Local tribal leaders have announced a boycott of Wednesday's event claiming "mass destruction" of natural resources due to the project.

It has became an example of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) efforts to appropriate a popular national figure, as Patel was a member of the Congress Party, which now sits in opposition to BJP in India's parliament.

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