Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

"Statue of Unity", Modi's Political Ego?

"This is a project that we had thought about during the time I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat", Modi added.

"His statue is a symbol of India's integrity", Modi said, peppered with potshots at his critics and copious references to other pet projects such as his goods and services tax and health care initiatives.

That makes the mega statue nearly 200 feet higher than the world's next largest, the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which stands at about 420 feet. The statue is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in his traditional garb in a walking pose.

He was known as the "Iron Man of India" for integrating various states in the post-independence era, when the creation of Pakistan led to massive bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims moving between the two nations.

- Statue of Unity: To pay homage to Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary, a "Statue of Unity" will be dedicated to him. "He saved India from balkanisation... today, we, the 130 crore Indians, are working shoulder to shoulder to build a new India that is strong, prosperous and inclusive".

As it was unveiled, Indian air force planes showered it in flower petals.

Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a 350 rupee ($4.75) admission fee for the 153-meter-high observation deck.

It is made up of almost 100,000 tonnes of concrete and steel.

The statue is designed by Noida-based sculptor Ram V Sutar who attempted to match the statue's resemblance with Sardar Patel. Hundreds of Chinese have been among the 3,500 workers.

Anand Mazgaonkar, a community group leader in Narmada district, said plain clothes police took away 12 people late Tuesday to the local police headquarters.

The Statue of Unity will not hold the title of world's tallest statue for long. In the inauguration speech, PM Modi said that the statue will be a reminder to the nation of Sardar Patel's courage to thwart conspiracies to disintegrate India.

- A special tent city will be set up with 250 tents spread across 70,000 sqft to provide tourists an experience of night stay on the banks of Narmada.

That figure is not the most mind-boggling concerned with the construction of the Statue of Unity, built on Sadhu Island, in the western state of Gujarat.

- Statue's surface (skin) has 553 bronze panels - each panel has 10-15 micro panels - made at a Chinese foundry, as there was no facility available in India to make panels of this scale.

Modi announced the project "The Statue of Unity" in 2010 while serving as chief minister of Gujrat.

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