Statue of Shivaji – Marine Drive Island

See this image and imagine something like this, only 3o0ft high and in the middle of the Arabian Sea. That’s Bombay’s reply to the Statue of Liberty.Folks, I kid you not.

The Maharashtra State Government has recently sanctioned the creation of a huge King Shivaji statue in the bay (yes in the sea), opposite the Police Gymkhana on Marine Drive. This statue is designed to be LARGER than the Statue of Liberty (!) and will be built on an artificial island, which will also contain a museum and an auditorium.

Additionally, a jetty will be constructed opposite Oberoi hotel at Nariman Point to ferry tourists to the island and back. All at a cost of of Rs. 300 crore.

This is an extremely poor and ill thought out idea to say the least. Most importantly, a statue of King Shivaji is being built for the appeasement of the Maratha community (a throwback to the bad days of Indian politics of community appeasement). This motive has been openly discussed and reported by many newspapers. I think in their hurry to appease one community, the politicians have forgotten how the statue will alienate other communities of Maharashtra by appeasing one community over the other. This practice of appeasement of one community over another is the most shoddy and disgusting of political practices, it does nothing but divide the people.

After 60 years of Indian democracy, the largest and most celebrated in the world, why are we building monuments to a king? What kind of message are we giving out to our people? That monarchy is good? If indeed Mumbai has to stand out as a world city, like New York, it must build a monument to an ideal, Democracy, where everyone has a voice and no king rules over people. That will indeed be a noble monument that every human being who sees it would feel pride in their hearts and will have great respect for ideals of Bombay & India.

Has the Maharashtra Government consulted the residents of Bombay before building this monument in bombay? No they haven’t, like a monarchy they have not bothered consulting their “subjects” and have gone ahead and shoved this huge monument in the midst of the city. Do the people of Bombay want this or any other monument in the sea on Marine Drive? Have they considered the huge amount of tourists that the monument will draw and will cause traffic congestion and chaos on an already over congested Marine Drive? Have they considered the huge security risk that a monument like this will pose with the trend of terrorists to attack monuments, like they did Taj & Oberoi, tourist landmarks? How will they effectively guard the hundreds of tourists there if the monument is attacked by sea as we just saw in the recent mumbai terror attacks?

All those who feel a sense of appeasement through such monuments, kindly let me know. As far as I know, the common Bombaykar wants jobs, development, loans to buy houses, good education, safe neighbourhoods, good governance and good health (and cricket & bollywood ofcourse!). All representatives of people, especially those of Bombay, need to raise their voice and speak their thoughts on this monument.


2 thoughts on “Statue of Shivaji – Marine Drive Island

  1. of course there are many issues which need money, time and attention … but a good that may come from this statue is increased tourism to BOMBAY … just like Liberty is an attraction for NYC …this statue could be the same for BOMBAY … that obviously could mean a lot more foreign money for us …so i guess it may not be that bad after all

  2. And being in the middle of the sea, it is an easy target for the terrorists from the neighbouring country's waters (which is reported to be relatively less secure.. an easy way of access). In case, they attack the Shivaji statue, our dearest shiv sainiks have all the justification required to go on a rampage! This is one more thing that needs to be considered!

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