As the morning sun sparkled off, I cosily sprawled on the couch holding the newspaper in my hand, ready to be fascinated by the daily dose of information. Rushing through the headlines, I flipped over the pages when my eyes read, “The Statue Of ……”. I nearly lost my gaze at the newspaper when I found my imagination running fast and, in a moment, I was eyeing a colossal neoclassical structure in my head. Freedom and Democracy were the two words I was constantly thinking about and a figure of a robed woman, representing Libertas, the Roman Goddess of freedom with a torch in her right hand and a broken chain lying at her feet flashed before my eyes. Perhaps, it was the statue of Liberty, thinking about which, my eyes gleamed with fearlessness and glamour.
I shoved off my imagination and came back to reality, realizing that the cascade of thoughts had already started to fade away. With an aura of hope and an unending curiosity to read more, I looked at the Headline once again, only to realize that this time, what was written was the “The Statue Of Unity”. Inhaling the essence of unfounded hopes and yet overcoming it with a sprinkle of irony and humour, I dwelled into the words, written in Black and White.
Having read the first paragraph, I soon realized that it was a political debate I was a part of. The world’s tallest statue, the Statue Of Unity is located on the river island of the Narmada River in Gujrat. The statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of India not only gives tribute to the Iron Man Of India but is also regarded as the Pride of the Nation. It plays a symbolic role and reminds us about our glorious past. Yet, critics feel that the statue is one more on the political chessboard towards BJP’s brand of nationalism. Huge amounts of money has been invested in building the statue, that too against the backdrop of a country where nearly thousands of farmers commit suicide every year and lakhs of people die of hunger and poverty every day.
I could not stop myself from thinking about the crucial foundation of the edifice. It was perhaps not the foundation stone I was thinking about but the real idea of unity which seems to be fading away in the present times. Somewhere between judging and claiming whether the Statue should have been made or not, people tend to forget the real meaning of unity. With riots taking place every now and then and increasing incidents of communal violence, we seem to question the belief that we live in a secular country, proud of its unity in diversity. As the lines between right and wrong, black and white merge into grey, the grey matter of mind compels me to ask the question, “How strong has the crucial foundation of the edifice been?” We may or may not hold the pride of having the world’s largest statue written on our edicts but as a nation, we need to have our foundations strong enough to hold pride in the fact that we grow above the barriers of caste, creed, colour, religion and gender. Setting a trail for the world to follow and an example for the future generations to imbibe, looking at the world with varied colours and progressive perspectives is essential to bring about the real glamour and pride in being an Indian, by birth and at heart.