Statue of Unity is a tribute to Sardar Patel for his tremendous contribution towards the creation of a unified India out of 565 princely states. In 1947 it was a crucial task filled with challenges as no prince would like to give up privileges and power so quickly. How critical his duty was, can be seen from the fact that only one such state, Kashmir, turned problematic – all because Patel did not have a free hand in dealing with the Pak invaders who attacked Kashmir and Nehru, ignoring the advice, and made mistakes?
Another farsighted contribution of Sardar Patel was the construction of Somnath Temple – due to its tremendous wealth and opulence, it was repeatedly attacked and plunders for centuries ever since Islamic invasion started. Last major plunder was by Aurangzeb in the 17th century. Hindus have been reconstructing it after each destruction. This time also it was rebuilt with the donation – not from government funds. Now compare the case of Somnath Temple with Ajodhya Ram Temple; senseless politics has made it almost impossible. But some young brain might ask, why to waste money on making Temple. Yet, Indians know the importance of Temples, Gurudwaras, and monasteries and nurturing piety and purity in society.
People calling the statue a waste of money are mostly supporters of Congress Party that largely ruled India since 1947. For them just one single family means everything. They did everything to suppress contributions of a lot of prominent revolutionaries like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, Dr Ambedkar, the highly influential revolutionary icon, Savarkar, who was sentenced to 50-year jail terms and spent 11 years in Kala Paani (Andaman Island) under sub-human and life-threatening conditions, and so on. How agitated they are in giving due respect to Sardar Patel, can be seen from the cheap outbursts of current Congress President.
People who don’t take pride in their real freedom fighters can hardly defend their freedom when hard times come. Look at how strong Germany, Japan and Israel are – all because Germans, Japanese and Jews are fiercely proud of their culture and hence nation. They know that without a strong nation, they can get crushed by any bully and lose their freedom.
Money or price tag is not rational arguments everywhere. Preservation of museums and historical heritages, symbols of national unity like the national flag and national anthem, the celebration of independence and republic day, etc. are things that must be done – at any cost. There is a wise proverb:
If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything!!
Currently, there is a fashion to try to measure everything in terms of money and often people forget to be discrete.
The Flip Side
Here is a list of (mostly) public sector companies that “voluntarily” paid for it out of their CSR funds
- Indian Oil Corporation – 900 crores
- ONGC – 500 crores
- Bharat Petroleum – 250 crores
- Oil India Corporation – 250 crores
- Gas Authority of India Limited – 250 crores
- Power Grid 125 crores
- Gujarat Minerals Development Corporation 100 crores
- Engineers India – 50 crores
- Petronet India – 50 crores
- Balmer Laurie – 50 crores
It is to be highlighted that there is no Anil Ambani, Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Baba Ramdev company funding this statue!
Most of the funders are Oil sector PSUs. When India is literally crying for the reduction in Oil prices, this is how our Oil sector PSUs are made to splurge their money!
India is not a personal fiefdom of any politician and the money invested in building such a statue is the money of the taxpayers. Statues of the freedom fighters can be erected in regards to their valiance and contribution towards creating a unified India but to use the funds from Corporate “Social Responsibility” funding in building their statues is one case of distraught and reluctance.
While some are saying, there was no need for the government to waste money on building the statue while others believe that it is constructed with the political aim of honouring a revered icon of Indian unity. Undoubtedly, it provided a lot of employment in last four years and is projected to provide employment to thousands of people as the place is being developed as prime tourist attraction.