With the inauguration of the world’s tallest statue- there are many who are questioning the very existence of the monument, tagging it “An Unnecessary Investment.”
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s one hundred and eighty two meters tall statue- ‘The Statue of Unity’ on Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, giving the country and the world, the tallest monument that has been built so far. PM Modi heralded the statue as a symbol of unification, integrity and oneness of the people of India and asked his countrymen to be wary of any elements that might be working against the same.
The Statue of Unity has been built atop the Sashu Baet peak, close to the Narmada river dam in Gujarat- and has been dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who tirelessly and rigorously worked to unite the nation, which was otherwise divided into five hundred and fifty different domains.
The Statue that stands twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty took thirteen months in its overall structural designing and thirty three months of diligent hard work saw it built to its magnanimous completion. A whopping 65,000 tonne of steel was used in its construction by three thousand four hundred laborers as well as two hundred and fifty engineers. The overall expense of constructing the grand historical statue came to about INR 2079 crores.
Although this Statue is made such as to withstand an earthquake of the magnitude 6.5 in the Richter scale, one is forced to wonder if it will be able to withstand the prolific anti-opinions that its construction has invited.
Even before the inauguration of the monument in question, a letter was written to the Prime Minister by the people of the surrounding region that said that they would not be welcoming Mr. Modi to their homeland on the day of the inauguration. The letter cited various grievances of the people who claimed that the amount of money invested in the construction of the statue would have been put to much better use had the Prime Minister actually invested the money in helping the agrarian sector of Gujarat as well as the rest of the country, since it’s clearly on a downward spiral.
And the fact does ring true as a bell; in an economy like India’s with unemployment, poverty and other social overheads swooping low to the ground day by day, one cannot help but wonder whether the investment that was made on the construction of the statue was actually necessary and called for.
Not only this, by 2021, another monument- the Shivaji Maharaj Memorial, standing as tall as 212 m and beating the record of ‘the Statue of Unity’ will stand in Mumbai, calling forth an even larger expense in the completion of its construction.
Although the government claims that investing on such constructions will attract tourism in India, one has to question the pertinence of this statement- after all how far can the tourism sector help the constantly failing economy of India?
It is absolutely justified to say that the money so spent in the construction of unnecessary monuments can be put to much better use in other sectors of the economy.
By Chaynika Tewari