What’s up with India’s Love for STATUES ?

I’m writing this note from a land where about 200 million people struggle to have food in their table once a day. A land where about 78 million people are homeless and 11 million children enjoying their luxury in the streets.

In a few years from now, I may invite you to visit the this land. It will be hosting the world’s tallest statues. No kidding! One of the statues, 182 meters high is dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Iron man of India. I admire him for the struggles he faced to build up this nation. The other statue is 210 meters high, dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The second statue to be built on the same land which hosts world’s third largest slum.

I wish I could pay my tribute to these national heroes by celebrating a day every year with sharing sweets or something. Just like how we clean up streets on OCT 2nd for Gandhi Jayanti. But unfortunately, I realize, I can only wish for it. What more can I?

Combined, building up these two statues are estimated to cost more than 1 billion USD approx 7000 crore INR. They name one of the statues as the statue of unity. What an irony, whole of the nation has to unitedly clap hands for building it up and remain silent.

When we realise we have the power, then we feel we have the courage.

Probably, except the .001% diehard fans of these national heroes, everyone else would be seeking in the vein not see such two statues standing with pride while half of the country is struggling to make a living. Yet, why don’t we have that power? Why can’t we stop it from happening?

While you visit here, you may get a chance to meet someone from the Koli fishing community, Mumbai’s original inhabitants, today living in fear that they’ll lose their livelihoods as the mighty pillar construction works starts. environmentalists say that the project could cause immense harm to a vibrant marine ecosystem and ecology of the Arabian Sea. But who cares, we’ll have the tallest statues in the world.

I hope the utter sounds of miseries and pain down in the earth won’t be audible at 200 meters high. I hope the wind at this height would be so strong that it will blow of the guilt feeling of anyone enjoying the sight from its top. And I hope, from that heights, our leaders would be able to see and feel that our nation is the best in the world. At the least, I hope these statues are truly a tribute and not a cover to do some corruption. I hope.

I hope. Because, its my money as well! The same money which once put a space probe in Mars’ orbit. It cost us ₹450 Crore. That was Our first interplanetary mission and we succeeded in the first attempt. YAY! Before that, we successfully inserted a space vehicle into the lunar orbit in the first attempt, and that cost us 90 million USD. Proud !

What possibly could we have done with this 1 billion USD? Just thinking. Join me if you’d like. Think what possibly we could have done? 350000 houses? 35000 schools? hospitals ? roads ? food? I hope, there’ll come a day when we get to say what we want. A day when we get to spend our money the way we wish. A day when power is decentralized to each of ours’ hands.

“The courage to soar to great HEIGHTS is inside all of US “
-Kerri Strug