A giant Gandhi statue that's out of bounds for people

Mahatma in meditative posture unveiled in high security Soudha zone

A giant Gandhi statue that's out of bounds for people

 If Vadodara in Gujarat can soon boast of having the Statue of Unity, Karnataka’s capital on Thursday took pride in having India’s tallest statue of Mahatma Gandhi in meditating pose. 

The crowd erupted in joy when the giant statue of Gandhi was unveiled on the Vidhana Soudha-Vikasa Soudha premises. 

Cameras clicked and cellphone users turned lensmen. There were not many in the huge crowd who missed the opportunity of taking pictures of the imposing bronze statue. Soon after the programme of unveiling the statue concluded with rhetoric speeches by politicians, people rushed near the 27-foot statue, which is placed on a 33-foot pedestal, to take a closer look at the Rs 11-crore statue and click pictures. Many took selfies too. 

There were laddoos to savour. NSS and NCC cadets seemed happy to have made it to the event. And so did the retired defence officers. This could have been a place of attraction for every proud Bangalorean and tourist. But this would be out of bounds for the public as it is located in a high security zone - the State secretariat. But on the inaugural day, the public had free access. 

Sculptors felicitated

The sculptors of the statue - Ram V Sutar and his son Anil Sutar were felicitated on the occasion. 

The Sutars have created 350 monumental statues over a period of six decades. In his inaugural address, Siddaramaiah, who was sporting a Gandhi cap, first paid tributes to late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose birth anniversary coincided with that of Gandhi. Shastri was 100 per cent sincere even when he was in power, the chief minister said.

On Gandhi, the chief minister said, truth and non-violence were his two main messages to the world. “Unfortunately, vested interests build walls among castes and religion. We need to be cautious of such people,” he said. 

Earlier, Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy said that, but for Siddaramaiah the statue project would not have been on a fast track. 

Three months

The idea to have a Gandhi statue was floated by Congressmen V R Sudarshan and Veeranna Mattikatti as the Secretariat premises had no Gandhi statue. 

In June this year, the foundation stone was laid and within three months, the project has been completed, he said.

Legislative Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said, “The statue is between Vidhana and Vikasa Soudhas. At least looking at the statue, the staff in the secretariat should do their job properly.”

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