|Ex. TN CM. K.Kamarajar, a great freedom fighter destinationinfinity.org|
Lord Curzon, a great and capacious British administrator during the Raj, who was quite disappointed over the absence of a memorial in Mysore for Diwan late Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, whose contribution to the Mysore Kingdom was vast, said, ''I hold strongly to the view that the deeds and services of great men should be honored by public commemoration in the places where they served, not merely as a posthumous compliment to themselves, but as an example and stimulus to others.''
The south Indian state of Tamil Nadu takes the credit of having the largest number of statues of modern political leaders. There is a Tamil saying ''Kovil ellatha ooril kudierrukka vendam' 'meaning ''do not live in a place where there is no temple''. Present situation is such that '' it is difficult for a man to live in a place - even in small villages in TN where there is no political statue. Atleast you will see the bust of a favorite leader haphazardly set on a poorly planned pedestal. Erecting of statues of well known modern political leaders has been around in Tamil Nadu since early 1970 and the trend has caught up with other states in later years. When I was a kid my dad took me took the park st some cities and towns. Only at some public places such as parks or gardens I saw the statue of Gandhiji or Nehru with a proper roof over it.
In the past two decades or so in the northern state there has been an explosion of statues of political leaders who were invariably reformists. As long as such statues are erected in private places
or in public parks far removed from heavy road traffic, it is well
and good, provided they must be properly made and periodically maintained by parties. The statues of politicians have become an essential part of many states in India and the aim is to remind the people the popularity of their leader and their strong hold in that area.
As for such modern memorials, construction does involve violation of environmental rules if they are located near sanctuaries, on or near river beds, or just off vulnerable coastal areas. The sad commentary is politicians have a monopoly over building monuments and statues according to their whims without taking public opinion into account. There is no question of any referendum on this matter. There are rarely statues for eminent educationists, scientists, musicians, old traditional dancers, women reformers, etc.
|Statue of late CM Jayalalitha, Chennai, AIADMK leader mid-day.com|
With some exceptions many of these political statues are not inspiring and made and erected in haste. No importance is given to aesthetics. Unlike western countries or any other developing nations, we do not take the erection of statues seriously. In the European and American cities you will find aesthetically built statues with memorials that enhance the beauty of the area with a small properly landscaped garden around it. In many cities such well maintained nice statues attract lots of tourists. In this respect we do not celebrate the modern history the way many other countries build statues with meticulous care. These statues lack workmanship, details of dress and facial expression, etc. I seldom ran into a beautiful and inspiring marble statue of Indian leaders in TN like that of Queen Victoria in Bangaluru or King George V in Delhi made by the famous British sculptor Leonard Jennings.
As for the quality of most of these statues, the less said, the better. They, with exceptions, are not known to have any ethical value or sculptural finesse and look drab and unimpressive with no life; another blot is they are not proportionately made. Neither marble nor polished granite stone is used to make such statues.
|tallest statue, Sardar patel, freedom fighter Gujarat deccanherald.com|
|Patel's tallest statue, Gujarat.www.pinterest.com|
The CM of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has a proposal for a gigantic Ram statue on the banks of the river Sarayu in Ayodhya, where the Hindu God is believed to have been born. The statue will be 151 m tall plus 50 m base - the total height of the statue is higher than Patel's statue. Shiv Sena and others have a tall statue erected by the end of 2021. it will be - 126 m tall just off the coast of Mumbai on a man-made island with 86 m tall pedestal base.