By Kaleem Kawaja
In the last one year 3 BJP ruled states in India have announced projects to build massive statues of their regional heroes costing huge amount of funds.
Gujarat: The first was the Gujarat state where the BJP Govt announced last year the project to build a massive 100 meter tall statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the eminent freedom fighter from Gujarat, off the Arabian Sea coast of Gujarat.
Maharashtra: The second in close competition was the state of Maharashtra where the BJP govt announced in early 2017 the building of a 100 meter tall statue of Shivaji, the 17th century Maratha community chief, off the Arabian Sea coastline of Marashtra, near Mumbai.
Uttar Pradesh: The third in this competition is the state of UP where the recently installed BJP Govt announced this week that they will build a 100 meter tall statue of Lord Rama, the preeminent god from the Hindu mythology, on the shore of the local river in Ahodhya, that Hindu mythology indicates is the place where Lord Rama was born.
All three statues being very tall and massive and made of bronze are likely to cost big money. Media has reported that since the cost of making these statues is llikely to be lower if they are built in China, the governments in these states are likely to import them from China. That will cause much drain of India’s precious foreign currency reserves.
In contrast to these super-expensive grandiose statues that will cost such huge amounts, in all three of these states the basic infrastructure of roads, bridges, railways, hospitals, schools , flood control projects, housing for the poor people are in very poor condition and millions of people are suffering from hardships every day.
One wonders why in a poor country like India where the basic infrastructure sorely needs much improvement , the governments in these 3 states appear to be in a competition to build the tallest and best statue of their local heroes? At this rate we could very well hear of a few more states announcing projects to build grandiose states of their local heroes.
What kind of economic planning is this and why the acute needs and sufferings of the people are not visible to the chief minister and other ministers?