Will ‘Statue of Unity’ help forge unity in Indian society?


Arshi Alvi

The problem in India today is not that there are so many people who do wrong. But there are a lot more who are mute spectators against illogical decisions of the government, and that is more bothering in the current scenario.

The government is now building the ‘Statue of Unity’, which is said to be a tribute to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, to seemingly give an impression that it is all for national unity. But is that the case on ground zero?

Patel was “humility personified”. His life was full of instances when he stood firm for unity. For example, during the frenzy of riots in the national capital Delhi in 1947, he had put hundreds of Muslims in the Red Fort and had brought an ‘army’ from Pune and the then state of Madras to protect them.

Patel prayed at the Nizamuddin dargah to send a signal to Hindu rioters about his liberal thoughts. He went to Amritsar and pleaded with angry and emotional Hindus and Sikhs there not to attack refugees who were fleeing our country and going to Pakistan. This is the kind of secularism Patel promised and practiced.

Ironically, this project is being pushed by those people who themselves don’t seem believe in the ethos of unity. They practice opposite to what they preach. For instance, our prime minister who had pledged to take ‘Make In India’ slogan to new heights has given its contract to chinese firm, a move that has been ridiculed on social media.

It’s not the statue of Patel that is needed to be constructed. But, in fact, it’s time when his soul and spirit has to be lived by each and every citizen of India. That will be a true tribute for a person who lived in the true sense for unity of our country.

With due respect to iconic leaders of our country, I was just asking and curious to know as to how wise it is for our country to spend such a huge amount on the ‘Statue of Unity’. The 182 metres statue, which would be the world’s tallest, would cost around Rs 2,989 crore ($480 million).

This is going to happen in a country where thousands and thousands of poor people die due to the absence of proper medical equipment and medicines in sub-standard government hospitals. In our country, mostly, if not all, projects undertaken by the government suffer from sub-standard quality and poor planning, be they schools, government hospitals, or transport system.

Besides, not to forget there are issues which need more funds and the attention of the government and cannot be ignored further, like OROP, farmers issue, price rise, fall of rupee, staggering condition of economy, intolerance, negligence of government over rationalism, science, education, and reasoning.

It’s a matter of grave concern when in a nation industrialists, intellectuals, scientists, filmmakers, writers, liberals et al start protesting the policies of government and the prime minister.

The list is endless to ponder upon to bring in and incorporate changes for better life of women, children, and the youth of our country that all needs huge funds.

It’s so ironical that we have funds for materialistic things to gain name and fame on international stage, but hardly for those living in pathetic conditions.

If ‘Statue of Unity’ really going to unite all Indians under its shadow then I’m definitely for it. But the question is “if”, or is it the principles of Patel which need to be followed.

By the way, what government has done so far to bring unity in our country, which unity are we talking about?

Is it…

…the unity which has been shattered to the ground by the rise of communal and fringe groups in our society?

…where every now and then provocative speeches are been made by leaders and supporters of the government?

…where crimes and barbaric killings, as borne out by the Dadri incident, are executed in name of religion?

…where group of people are targeted and freedom of speech and expression are curtailed?

…where through hooliganism polarised society is created which acts no less than a nuclear bomb?

…where people are dictated what to wear, what to eat, and how to live?

…where music, literature, history, ethics, science, education are all put on the back burner and instead intolerence, hatred are instilled in the minds of citizens?

…where uneducated and unqualified people are given jobs of making policies for the nation and its people?

…where criminals enjoy high rankings in Parliament with Z-plus security?

If this is the trend we are following to bring unity in diversity, I am sorry to say we are on the wrong track. I can challenge even if noble leader like Vallab Bhai Patel would have been here he would have never supported whatever is going around in our country today. Rather, sorry for being blunt, had Patel been alive today, there would have been no existence of an institution like RSS – and, hence, there was no question of BJP’s existence.

If we want to give real tribute to our iconic leader than we should realise unity arises from providing equal freedom to every individual, care, compassion, love, brotherhood, gratitude, morals sticking to core values of humanity and tolerance are the qualities needed to inculcate amongst citizens.

Unity arises by providing provisions to the downtrodden, by providing security to citizens, by giving justice to victims and maintaining law and order.

Unity arises by invoking the right chords of democracy for the benefit of the citizens.

Let’s stop all this drama of casting out pseudo image of development and unity by globetrotting by our PM in view to gain international foreign investments. Stop fooling people anymore; we all are pissed off from all this crap of ‘achche din’ business.

World will look up to us only when we can start uniting across diversities. Surprisingly, we have forgotten the facts and the route to success.

We all are with government if it undertakes any project to strengthen our relations with fellow Indians because that is really going to unite us. We should learn to work things out based on facts and not just on the face value.