The first stone has been laid in India to build the world’s tallest statue honoring one of the country’s founding fathers.
That title currently goes to China’s Spring Temple of Buddha which is 500 feet tall. (via YouTube / Goorney)
India’s planned statue — dubbed The Statue of Unity — will stand at a humongous 597 feet tall in Gujarat, where the World’s third largest dam currently resides. (via Twitter / InfoGujarat)
The monument will honor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a well known Indian politician who helped bring together all of India’s self governing states after gaining independence from Britain. (via YouTube / Jitega Gujarat)
And it carries a $340 million price tag — a mix of public funds and private donations. (via Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty)
The cost to build the statue has been criticized by many who say the government continues to overlook one-third of the population who live in poverty. (via YouTube / Jitega Gujarat)
But according to the BBC this project is more of a political move than simply a new way to honor Patel.
“Correspondents say the statue is viewed as a direct challenge by Mr Modi, the prime ministerial candidate … to appropriate the mantle of Patel, who was associated with the governing Congress party.”
Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be overseeing the project and also hopes to become the next Indian prime minister taking rule away from the … (via BBC)
… Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has ruled for most of India’s post-independence history (via NDTV)
The International Business Times reports some polls favor Modi in India’s next national election in 2014.
The Statue of Unity is expected to be finished in a little less than four years.
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