Opinion: Impressive statue

POSTED: 11/1/13 11:42 AM

Why don’t we get ideas like this? India is going to build the highest statue in the world, a massive 182 meters high rendition of on the republic’s founding fathers. We’re not talking about Mahatma Gandhi, but about the Iron Man of India, independence fighter Vallabhbhai Patel. Remarkable: the height of this statue approximately corresponds (in centimeters) with St. Maarten’s Old Man Claude Wathey. So now you know that the statue in front of the Government Administration Building is not doing Claude justice – at least not where his height is concerned.

In India, the mega statue is called Statue of Unity. It will be twice as high as the American Statue of Liberty, and 29 meters higher than the Grand Buddha of Lushan in China that is just 153 meters high. The Statue of Unity is going to cost $300 million – nobody said that ego comes cheap – and is built by the first minister of Home Affairs of the independent India. The project was already announced a couple of years ago.

Yesterday the project was inaugurated by the Indian opposition leader Nerendra Modi, an important rival for Prime Minister Mammohan Singh for next year’s national elections. Yesterday was, not coincidentally, also the 138th celebration of Patel’s birth.

According to the international press agency Reuters Modi attempts to annex the independence hero to win votes among residents of the federal state Gujarat, the home state of Modi and Patel and the place where the super statue will be erected. They have the feeling that Patel’s legacy is being neglected by the governing Congress Party and Modi is taking advantage of this. Gujarat is an economically important federal state in India.

The 182 meters high Patel statue will have a wonderful view (unlike Claude Wathey’s statue that stares at parked cars all day long). Visitors will look from within the statue across the Narmada-dam.

What will St. Maarten’s answer be to this challenge? A 185-meter high statue of whomever at the port to welcome our cruise passengers?

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