11/10/2022, 13.43
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Another statue to be inaugurated tomorrow in Bengaluru for BJP propaganda

A 33-metre bronze statue will honour a chieftain who founded the city. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist party has been building huge (and expensive) monuments for years. Several times, local residents have opposed them.

Bengaluru (AsiaNews) – Tomorrow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil a statue of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, a chieftain considered the founder of Bengaluru (Bangalore), in Karnataka.

Dubbed the “Statue of Prosperity” by local authorities, the 33-metre (108-feet) structure is the "first and tallest bronze statue of a founder of a city," according to the World Book of Records.

“It symbolises his vision of a global city,’ Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai tweeted recently.

The project, which includes a theme park, cost the government 840 million rupees (US$ 10.3 million).

Before the unveiling, 'mruthike' (sacred mud) was collected from hundreds of cities, towns and villages and brought by 21 special vehicles to be mixed symbolically with the mud beneath one of the four towers of the statue.

Over the past few years, the government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has repeatedly used symbols and historic figures linked to Hinduism and the fight against foreign forces to boost nationalist propaganda.

In September, Prime Minister Modi unveiled the statue of Subhas Chandra Bose, a hero of Indian independence who opposed British colonial rule but is also a controversial figure for the ties he forged with Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II.

The BJP has tended to praise Bose and downplayed the contribution to independence of Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, two figures whose legacies are linked to the Congress Party, India’s main opposition party.

The practice of unveiling ever taller statues is also another practice found in BJP-ruled states.

In February of this year, a statue of the 11th century philosopher Ramanajucharya was erected in Hyderabad, a token of universal harmony and brotherhood since the intellectual is remembered for this fight against social injustice and caste divisions.

A local probe later revealed that the precious metal structure, which cost 1.35 billion rupees (US$ 16.6 million euros), was Chinese-made.

Likewise, in 2018 a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel was erected as a sign of “unity”. But more than 75,000 tribal people protested against the government because their land had been seized for this project without adequate compensation.

Similar protests broke out in November 2020 with the "Statue of Peace" in Rajasthan – the inauguration ceremony coincided with anti-government protests sparked by high levels of unemployment.

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