Monday, October 19, 2020
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‘Liberal’ meltdown for Statue of Unity is getting more creative with Shekhar Gupta’s The Print leading the charge

Popular tourist destinations like Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China and Machu Pichu all provide direct air-drop service if you are secular enough to survive it

The Statue of Unity recently inaugurated on the bank of Narmada by PM Modi has been guilty of causing heartaches and major meltdowns by a section of India’s secular, intellectual liberals. From the hurt sentiments of it not being a statue of Gandhi-Nehru family to its height and expenses, the arguments have been as diverse as numerous.

Here are some of the most popular excuses run by eminent intellectuals against the statue.

  1. How can the tallest statue be that of Sardar Patel and not MK Gandhi? The eloquent Mr Tharoor said that. Apparently, the deification of Gandhi is so absolute that no statue should be bigger than his statue. Is there a law that says so? of course not.
  2. The statue is an election gimmick by BJP. Well ‘election gimmick’ is the tag placed upon just about every project undertaken by the Modi government. From Swachh Bharat, Beti Padhao to farmer subsidies, if everything is an election gimmick, should a government rather sit tight and do nothing?
  3. The statue is a waste of tax-payer’s money. The money should have been used for creating jobs and infrastructure. Apparently, the liberal brain is blind to notice that the statue has been built near the Sardar Sarovar dam, a dam that provides irrigation to 18.5 lakh hectares of farmland, produces electricity for 3 states is not infrastructure development for these people.
  4. Where are the jobs? This is the most exhaustive of all the rants, One must assume, do the liberals seriously think that the 182 metres tall statue was made to appear just like that? The years of labour, man-hours spent and materials procured, artists, masons and technicians hired, do they not count as jobs? Sadly, you can not expect the secular liberal brains to be absorptive of facts and logic.

One of the most vocal sources of non-stop Sardar statue criticism has been Shekhar Gupta’s leftist propaganda website The Print. The Print had started its share of Statue criticism with socialist arguments.

The giant loopholes and flaws in the argument were discussed by Karan Bhasin in his rebuttal of the article mentioned above, which, The Print refused to publish.

The Print did not take the counter-opinions well though. When ‘economic estimates’ route did not work, they took another path to ‘belittle’ the statue, subtle slandering. Their article on the next day was about how ‘dynastic’ Sardar Patel was.

It has been more than a week since the statue was inaugurated and after the first Sunday, reports started pouring in on the number of tourists that are flocking to glimpse the world’s tallest statue. The statue reportedly collected rs 19 lakhs in a single day.

Now the liberal argument had to move from socialism and find a new cause to deride the statue and Modi government. Like clockwork, The Print came up with a new excuse, this time it had nothing to do with socialist ideals and condescensions. Since the anti-statue rants were met with solid data and practical arguments, the new attack attempted to bring in something fresh, logistical issues: the statue is just too far away.

The article argues that the statue is practically inaccessible. Yes, it states that the nearest airport in Vadodara is 95 Kilometres away. The article goes further to complain that the distance has to be covered by road. What a letdown, because most tourist destinations like Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China and Machu Pichu all provide direct air-drop service if you are secular enough to survive it.

How can unwashed, Modi-Bhakt Indians understand that if something is not accessible by air, it is not worth a visit? No decent intellectual traveller would show interest in a monument that does not have an airport attached.

As for the ‘too far from airport’ argument, let us hope the citizens of Bengaluru do not find that offensive because the Kempegowda International Airport is arguably closer to Hyderabad than Bengaluru and no citizen of the Silicon city has ever complained about it.

The interesting thing is, the article itself states there are public transport buses available from Vadodara to Rajpipla and many buses run from Rajpipla to Kevadia (the nearest town to the statue) too. Trust the elitist mind to read the headline of the article and scoff at the foolish Chaiwallah for making a statue that is tougher to reach than Mars.

Yet, Modi-bhakts have no class. They can happily travel in buses and autorickshaws to see the world’s tallest statue. Some Twitter users have actually pointed it out.

Looking at the trends of progression the arguments against the statue are taking, let us take a guess at the possible lines we might hear in a few days.

  • The statue is so tall, it should have been in the sitting or sleeping position, it does not cast a wide enough shadow and the sun-exposure might bring tans on the delicate skin of AC room pontificators.
  • 250 innocent citizens have had their hats fall off while trying to look at Sardar Patel’s face. This is an emergency like situation. Modi should pay them for damages to the hats and the harassment faced while picking them up.
  • Birds that were flying away scared from Diwali crackers found their path blocked by the gigantic statue, they had to take a diversion. Ban Diwali and condemn the statue for causing unnecessary fatigue to birds.

Looks like UP CM Yogi Adityanath has read the Print article because he announced an airport and a hospital at Ayodhya on the occasion of Diwali celebrations. While some seculars still managed to complain about the lack of jobs, (we do not know why. Maybe they assumed that hospitals and airports with non-secular names do not employ people) it is safe to assume that ‘no airports in the neighbourhood’ is not going to work in Ayodhya. Till then, let us wait and see what creative excuses the proposed Ram statue at Ayodhya and the Ram Temple will inspire.

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Sanghamitra
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