Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Indian Statue to rival the Statue of Liberty

Farmers are committing suicide, people are suffering due to shortage of food, water and power. Education needs a boost. I can think of a hundred other things that the local authorities need to spend on to improve the lives of the millions living in this populous state. And yet on what is the Government of the state of Maharashtra (the state where the city of Bombay is) planning to spend US$4.5 million? A statue, rivalling the Statue of Liberty, to glorify the local hero Shivaji!!! And it will not be the first because statues of Shivaji are present in almost every important location in Bombay.

The government of the Indian state of Maharashtra says it plans to build a statue off the Mumbai (Bombay) coast to rival New York's Statue of Liberty. The statue will be of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji, considered a hero in Maharashtra for his defiance of Mughal and British forces.

The statue will be built on a man-made island, which will include a library, a museum and an amphitheatre. Vishal Dhage, a state government official, said the statue would be about the same height as the Statue of Liberty - which, with plinth included, stands at 305ft (92.69m). Mr Deshmukh said that when it was completed, the statue would be an important tourist spot, with sound and light shows to explain the importance of the warrior king, Shivaji.

King Shivaji is an icon adopted by the militant right-wing Maharashtra group, Shiv Sena, which says more should be done to promote the rights of "local" people in the state rather than "outsiders". Moves to erect the statue have been described as a ploy to win local support ahead of elections next year. (BBC)

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