Friday, October 23, 2020
Home News Reports In Maharashtra, you can't install a statue even on your private land if 'minorities'...

In Maharashtra, you can’t install a statue even on your private land if ‘minorities’ object

In a policy decision that has raised many eyebrows, Maharashtra government has virtually given a veto power to minorities over installation of statues in public and private spaces in the state.

The General Administration Department headed by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis posted a controversial Government Resolution (GR) [pdf] on 2 May, which explains the new “statue policy” of the government. The GR includes guidelines to be followed while erecting any statue.

There are two contentious points in the GR which are discriminatory in nature and are bound to be misused.

1. The guidelines says, “No person or organization shall be allowed to erect a statue on a land owned by government, NGO or by a private entity without the permission of the District Collector”

Point #1 from GR circulated by GAD, Maharashtra Government

2. It further says, “Local police station in-charge must submit a no-objection certificate after ascertaining that installing the statue will not create law and order issues or increase communal tension in the future. Additionally, a no-objection certificate which clearly mentions that local residents and minorities are not opposed to installation of the statue must be obtained.”

Point #6 from GR circulated by GAD, Maharashtra Government

These two points combined together give a virtual veto power to minorities over installation of any statue on any public or even private land.

It means that a person can’t install a statue in his/her home or a private organization can’t install a statue in its premises if some minority community in the locality is opposed to it. The GR also mentions a Supreme Court order [pdf] dated 13/01/2013 which put an interim ban on installation statues on any public utility places.

However, this flawed statue policy of Maharashtra Government is also applicable to public recreational places like parks and more shockingly to private land.

This policy seems to be inspired from a similar policy that was formed by the then Cong-NCP government in 2005. OpIndia columnist Ashutosh Muglikar pointed this out on Twitter.

However, the 2005 policy did not require explicit ‘no objection’ from minorities, rather it said that the wishes of minorities should be mentioned in the NOC. Which means that as per the old policy, an NOC could be given for a statue even if a minority community was opposed to it (the local administration needed to have the political will).

Also, unlike the latest policy, private land was left out of the scope of the 2005 policy. Lastly, that a similar policy was formed by the previous government cannot be a justification to giving more teeth to that flawed policy.

Interestingly Maharashtra government wants to build a 210 meter tall statue of Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea. Could the Rs. 3600 crore project get stalled if some minority community members oppose it? Perhaps this particular project will be safe as the latest GR may not be applied retrospectively, however there could be similar challenges in future.

Former PM Manmohan Singh had (in)famously said that minorities had the first right on India’s resources. Now Maharashtra CM appears to have said through this GR that minorities have the first right on all statues in Maharashtra.

Equally worrisome is the fact that this policy has empowered organizations like Sambhaji Brigade who often use muscle power to push their divisive agenda. This could act as stimulant for other groups to flex muscles by claiming to represent some minority community and claiming threat to communal harmony or public order. It could prove almost as bad as the first amendment (to constitution) restricting free speech, which was introduced by Pandit Nehru.

This GR comes close to an earlier decision by the Fadnavis government, where a law to protect journalists was passed. That law is also prone to misuse. One hopes that the state government realizes these threats and takes corrective steps.

UPDATE (7th May 2017): The Maharashtra government has now removed the clause that mandated the NOC from minorities. 

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Remembering Lalu’s Jungle Raj in Bihar: When an IAS officer’s wife was raped for two years by an RJD leader

During Lalu's Jungle Raj in Bihar, IAS Officer BB Vishwas's wife Chamba Biswas was raped for 2 years by RJD leader Mrityunjay Yadav

“Your outrage against Hinduphobic content on OTT platforms may actually be fuelling more such content”- Here is what an industry insider says

OTT platforms are not hit if a movie or a series if boycotted for Hinduphobic content as people have already paid for subscription

No, India Today, Katrina Kaif in yellow saree for Navratri is not offensive to Hindus, this is where you got it wrong

India Today tries to be holier than thou while trying to paint Hindus as trolls over Eros Now's vulgar Navratri posts

CM Yogi distributes relief amount of Rs 113.21 crore among the flood-affected farmers in Uttar Pradesh

CM Yogi distributed the relief amount to the flood-affected farmers in 19 districts of the state by online transaction.

‘Mughal Prince Tucy’ lashes out on AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, calls him ‘Bewakoof, and Gadha’

Prince Tucy said that when the people of Hyderabad are dealing with horrific floods, MP Asaduddin Owaisi is busy doing poll campaign in Bihar.

Is Modi govt giving Coronavirus vaccines for ‘free’ only to Bihar? No, that’s not how it works

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday while releasing the BJP manifesto in Bihar for upcoming elections said that the BJP promises free coronavirus vaccines in Bihar, whenever the vaccine is made available.

Recently Popular

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

Eros Now apologises for publishing vulgar Hinduphobic content on Navratri

After netizens outraged over vulgar posts on Navratri, Eros Now issued an apology.

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

Remember Sheena Bora case? Param Bir Singh was the IG of Konkan range, the site where her body was dumped

Param Bir Singh knew that Sheena Bora was missing. He had asked Rahul Mukerjea to file a 'missing persons' report. Sheena, however, was never reported as 'missing'.

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

Paris: Two Muslim women stabbed under Eiffel Tower by white women shouting “dirty Arabs”

Two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night by two white women who called them "dirty Arabs".
- Advertisement -

Complaints filed against Eros Now and Arré for vulgar social media posts related to Navratri

Both Eros Now and Arre had published social media posts linking Navratri festival with sex and vulgarity

Chhattisgarh police file FIR against video journalist who had reported on farmer protests based on an allegedly edited video

Video journalist Manish Soni had reported about the plight of farmers whose paddy crops were ruined due to anti-encroachment drive

Reducing Navratri to ‘mating dance’, comparing Holi with terrorism— how the Indian media has turned Hinduphobic

After Eros Now posted series of vulgar messages associated with Navratri, far-left site Arre posted a Hinduphobic tweet on Durga puja

Remembering Lalu’s Jungle Raj in Bihar: When an IAS officer’s wife was raped for two years by an RJD leader

During Lalu's Jungle Raj in Bihar, IAS Officer BB Vishwas's wife Chamba Biswas was raped for 2 years by RJD leader Mrityunjay Yadav

“Your outrage against Hinduphobic content on OTT platforms may actually be fuelling more such content”- Here is what an industry insider says

OTT platforms are not hit if a movie or a series if boycotted for Hinduphobic content as people have already paid for subscription

Mumbai Police threatens Republic TV executive editor with imprisonment for refusing to reveal source of Hansa report in TRP scam

Republic TV Executive Editor warned by Mumabi Police that he will be booked under IPC sections 174 and 179 if does not give source of Hansa report

No, India Today, Katrina Kaif in yellow saree for Navratri is not offensive to Hindus, this is where you got it wrong

India Today tries to be holier than thou while trying to paint Hindus as trolls over Eros Now's vulgar Navratri posts

UP: Police find conversion of over 200 people to Buddhism fake, people were asked to sign conversion papers disguised as govt scheme

After reports of 236 Valmiki community members converting to Buddhisim, police find no evidence of conversion in Karehra village

Lucknow: Jama Mazar caretaker ‘Kale Baba’ caught running sex racket, video goes viral

The caretaker has allegedly confessed to police that he was sexually exploiting women and engaging them in illicit activities in the name of curing infertility and other ailments.

Meghalaya: Khasi student body puts up racist posters saying “All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis”

The banners put up by Khasi Students Union read, ''All Meghalaya Bengalis are Bangladeshis'' and "Khasiland for Khasis; Foreigners Go Away".

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
466,035FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe