The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh (U.P) Chief Minister Mayawati over her grand plans to install 40 statues of herself (with her handbag), her mentor Kanshi Ram and B R Ambedkar across the state. The statues have cost Rs 2,000 crore of public money.
Maywati has spent almost 2000 crores on building these statues which she says are a symbol of Dalit assertion. Carved in red sandstone, these statues are being built in popular cities of U.P such as Noida and Lucknow. She has also planned to built (an has already built in Lucknow) statues of elephants (her part symbol) to please her workers.
But now there could be trouble for Mayawati’s ‘mission statues’. Accepting a PIL, the Supreme Court has now asked her government to explain the need for such expenditure.
“We have based all our figures on UP government’s budget,” says the man who filed the PIL in court, Ravi Kant.
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Estimates suggest that each statue of Kanshi Ram and Mayawati costs a sum of Rs 6.65 crores. Each elephant statue costs more than Rs 70 lakh.
In addition, crores have been spent on constructing boundary walls around parks across the state where these statues will be installed and another Rs 80 crore per annum will be spent in the maintainance of these parks.
But Behan Mayawati sees politics in this. “This is all politics. More money has been spent on maintaining of Rajghat. Why don’t they ask questions then,” she said.
UP still is a part of the BIMARU club of states. It’s social indicators are still at the bottom of the national pyramid as lack of power and water are the hallmarks here. Most politicians feel that developing statues is not what the people of the state want.
If this huge amount (2000 crores) would have been spent on improving the jurisdiction, infrastructure, and other basic facilities such as water, electricity, sanitation, etc. U.P could have been, if not completely, a somewhat different state than it is today.
Maybe Mayawati feels that like Shah Jahan and Akbar, she would also leave her marks on the sand of time, but she has failed to understand that the Mughals were responsible for development at their time and thus they deserved the monuments that they created. But is Mayawati worthy? Maybe yes, maybe no. She has improved the roads in Noida, but again, the rate of corruption is flying high. U.P (and Bihar) is said to have the worst jurisdiction in India. And yes, the media must take responsibility for creating a hype about Mayawati and helping her reach cloud 9.
So what does the youth want? The youth cares about the country. The youth demands development, not of monuments of politicians, but of the basic facilities which have long been lacking in India.
Well, Ms. Mayawati, we hope that you understand that it is better if others build your statues for the good work you do rather than making your own.