The Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat, christened the 'Statue of Unity', appeared to be a non-starter but is back in the news. Just when all the country's Modi fans were starting to mope that they may, after all, be left with only a pint-sized Frieda Pinto to flaunt before America, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley came up with this budget gem. The Centre will set aside Rs 200 crore for the building of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue. Immediately, all fears that the Statue of Unity was just another eyeball-grabbing publicity move like 3D Modi, were put to rest.
Like the official website of the project tells you, the statue will be the tallest in the world. Business Standard had reported in the past that just the first phase of the project will cost Rs 2,063 crores. The government also started a famous iron-collection drive to highlight that the state's coffers will not be emptied to build our country's answer to the Statue of Liberty.
However, the Centre's allocation of a whopping Rs 200 crore, the same amount allocated for women's safety, has raised quite a few eyebrows. The Centre's move faced severe criticism from Twitter, where people expressed shock at the absurdity paying as much financial importance to a statue as to the safety of millions of women in the country.
As Lakshmi Chaudhry wrote in an earlier post titled The Great Indian Eyesore, it might be time to ask whether the prohibitive cost of the project is democratically mandated. "This is still a top-down expenditure of public funds, and it isn't unpatriotic to question its usefulness, especially at a time of economic anxiety," she wrote..
Here are some of the tweets expressing concern about the budget allocation of the Sardar Patel statue:
Let the troll wars begin on Twitter!
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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2014 14:28:08 IST