Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

PM dedicates Sardar Patel’s ‘Statue of Unity’ to nation

PM dedicates Sardar Patel’s ‘Statue of Unity’ to nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled the world's tallest statue - Statue of Unity - at Kevadiya Colony in Narmada district on the birth anniversary of India's Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Wednesday. It will be more than 50 metres taller than China's Spring Temple Buddha, the world's current record holder, at 128 metres.

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

After formally dedicating the statue of Sardar Patel to the country, Modi said that the idea behind creating the statue was to honour Sardar, who united the country, in a way that he deserves.

Indian air force planes showered flower petals on the statue. Around 3,000 workers and 250 engineers worked together to create this statue.

Dedicating the "Statue of Unity" to the nation, PM Modi said the statue is a symbol of India's integrity.

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Local villagers have written to the PM saying the inauguration is "akin to celebrating someone's death" as the statue's construction entailed the wiping out of natural resources which had for years given farmers a living.

The "Statue of Unity" is double the size of the Statue of Liberty in NY standing 240 metres high.

The accusations are a distortion of history, says Congress, which ruled India for much of its independence history and is now led by Rahul Gandhi, the great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.

Some political commentators have criticised Modi for his expenditure on the statue complex at a time when the adivasi indigenous people who farm the land acquired for it are in economic straits and have protested against it. He is also seen as an important figure in uniting the country, and is credited with convincing most of the individual states in the region to join India over Pakistan after the British left.

Indian authorities hope the statue will attract 15,000 visitors a day to the remote corner of Gujarat, which is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the nearest city of Vadodora. Even the outer layer of statue required over 1,700 tonnes of bronze.

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