India unveils world's tallest statue "Statue of Unity"

India unveils world's tallest statue

The BSP leader also said that if BJP leaders had regard for Patel, then the party, which has been ruling Gujarat for a long time, should have constructed the statue earlier. "We are made to feel as if we have committed a serious crime", he said. But this is a 182-metre statue for his disciple. A viewing gallery has been created at a height of 135 metres inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of the dam and nearby mountain ranges.

The PM hailed the statue as an answer to those who always question India, before adding: "It shows that India was, is and always will be eternal".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel describing the completion of his pet project as "a day that will be remembered in the history of India".

"I am not against Sardar, but what is the use of the statue if the people on the land have to suffer and are moved from their homes?" local legislator and community group leader Chotu Vasava said.

A barrister and statesman by profession, Sardar Vallabhai Patel was noted as the "Iron Man of India", as he had unified 562 princely states post India's independence.

The BJP says Congress has deliberately ignored leaders such as Patel, B.R. Ambedkar, who led the drafting of the constitution, and freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose.

"Though Patel was from Gujarat state, all Indians were proud of him because of his stature", said Rashesh Patel, a 42-year-old businessman among the crowd gathered for the inauguration ceremony.

Reuters Amit Dave
Reuters Amit Dave

How does it compare to other statues?

Naturally credit goes to the prime minister.

CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy echoed similar sentiments. The statue has been built to withstand winds of 180km/hour and earthquakes of up to 6.5 Richter scale.

The bronze-clad statue cost $430 million to build and houses a memorial garden and a museum at its base.

"They (BJP) do not like his (Gandhi's) secularism, that is why they have not build his statue".

"We have no objection to Sardar Patel's statue".

Sardar Patel's name had been largely overshadowed by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has dominated Indian politics since 1947.

"Mahatma Gandhi's statue should have been bigger, he is leader of the highest stature than anybody else", he said.

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