Statue of Unity: Can We Finally Agree That We Love Statues?


Statue of Unity: Can We Finally Agree That We Love Statues?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Bloody hell! I was 5 feet 5 inches in real life but it feels spectacular to be 597 feet! I can do literally what Rahul Eshwar does metaphorically, look down upon the entire country. I wanted to invite the Statue of Liberty to my birthday party but Americans have been rejecting a lot of invitations lately. Like everything in India, my birth as a statue has also become a political debate.

Should I be worried about myself? I’m supposed to be the Statue of Unity, but at this point, unity is about as far-fetched an idea as acche din. I am supposed to be big and inspiring at 182 metres, but if you want to know the truth, beneath all this outward grandeur, I’m actually confused as hell.

Earlier this year, I saw the downfall of comrade Lenin, Tamil icon EV Ramasamy, and BJP icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Lenin was the first to go in Tripura, and before this, the only Russians we were familiar with were the ones in Goa. This was also when many of us finally realised that Lenin is not the same person as Stalin.

I’m not really sure what our stand on statues is anymore. On odd days, we love statues, on even days, we hate statues. We love one type of figure, but hate some other. When we love statues, we believe they will generate tourism revenue and benefit the region; when we hate them, they turn into “a waste of money and resources” overnight. Can we please settle this once and for all? #GoBustOrGoHome yaar!

On odd days, we love statues, on even days, we hate statues.

I don’t want to have the same fate as Lenin with kids playing football with my severed head 20 years from now. When did we become a football-loving country? Last I checked we were still obsessing over Kohli and Dhawan dancing at some random wedding!  

For starters, we didn’t ask to be built. One set of politicians used taxpayers’ money to create us and another set of politicians uses the same funds to destroy us. When they got votes from us, we were offered flowers and garlands. After the elections, we are left to roast in the sun? We’ve been discarded the same way employees at PNB discarded ethics and morals. And don’t even get me started on the pigeons who think of us as their sulabh shauchalayas.

In these uncertain times, I can only imagine how anxious Gandhiji must be. He has more statues in the country than we have roads. Mera kya hai? I can count on my surname to get past this phase.

It’s been a good year for Gujaratis. Ask any Modi, Adani, or Ambani.