Statue of Unity is a statue of Indian statesman and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the Narmada district of Gujarat, India. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 m (597 ft) or almost two times as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Statue of Unity has snatched away the laurels from its rival, China’s the Spring Temple Budhha. It is 153 m (503 ft). Ever since the unveiling of the statue has taken place, it has raised some serious questions, most of them related to the word ‘unity’. Serious allegations are against the Modi regime for significantly failing to do sufficiently enough to unite the whole nation in a single knot.
Narendra Modi , the Indian Prime Minister, boastfully remarks in his inauguration speech that the Statue of Unity is “a symbol of our engineering and technical prowess.” Apart from this, the statue is itself an emblem of unity. This sounds paradoxical. When a crime is committed against a Dalit every 15 minutes in our country, it really raises question as to how this statue, a “lifeless ” monument, can bring us to our conscience. Dalits are being treated very badly. Dalit women are brutally tortured. Their traumatic stories remain unheard. They cannot make it to the #MeToo Campaign. They are still far, far away from the premises of education. They are exterminated from their own land where their forefathers used to stay just under the pretext of building a car factory. Brutal killings of innocent minorities by the self proclaimed Gau Rakhshaks in broad day light in the name of the protection of cow puts a serious question on it. Each lynching bears testimony to the fact that the word used – “unity” – is nothing but a politically coined term to distract Indians from issues that matter. Recent inhumane killing of five Bengalis in Assam has sent a wave of shock across the country. As a Bengali, it feels like I am a “gushpathiye” in my own land. India, the whole of it, is for all the Indians regardless of their whereabouts, identity, gender and language. A few months back, Kerala was ravaged by a devastating flood. The state was immensely affected by the deluge. Every one was trying to do his or her best to aid the state. At this crucial hour, some people made fun of the state citing political and religious reasons. This bears nothing but foul mentality.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, known as the Iron Man of India, is often compared with Bismarck of Germany for his firm mind and stance when it comes to the interest of the whole nation. He used to lead a very homely life. He was closely influenced by Gandhi’s policy of non-violence. This impact of Gandhiji upon him had thoroughly reflected throughout his life. He played a pivotal role in bringing all the princely and regional states under one single umbrella with an aim of unifying and solidifying the idea of India as an independent state. Throughout his life, he was against communal forces like the Muslim Leauge, Hindu Mahasabha. He actively participated in banning the RSS. He vehemently opposed the ideologies, different extremist forces were willing to spread, in the post and pre-Independence era. He was a man who ‘never claimed to be the tallest but one among us’. Getting recognition by one of the forces against which Patel was always vocal is derogatory and at the same time reveals their hypocrisy.
India is a country with lots of problems. There are problems we have not been able to discover remedy to until today. Many people go without food. People are seen spending sleepless nights in the open by the side of lengthy streets. Tribal students are still day dreaming. They draw a school of their own in their mind’s eye but attending the school remains unsuccessful. People die in hospitals due to the lethargy of the doctors. Many girls still don’t know how a school looks like. Then there is the child labour problem. The government could have used this large amount of money that was used to build this giant statue (approximately 3,000 crore) in building a hospital that would provide citizens with all modern infrastructure and amenities.