The Indian Statue of Unity just opened on October 31, 2018, and is now the world’s tallest statue. The masterpiece was modeled after Indian founding father and statesman, Vallabhbhai Patel, who was also known as Sardar Patel. He was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Indian Statue of Unity Versus NY Statue of Liberty
The Indian statue is 182 meters tall (597 feet), and cost 330 million pounds to build. It is 2 times as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Sardar Patel, whom the statue takes after, was the symbol for India’s liberty. India used to be a British colony, and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India signifies India’s struggle for independence from the British.
On the other hand, New York City’s Statue of Liberty is 305 feet and 1 inch (93 meters), tall. It was gifted to the United States by France, and a broken chain lies at the statue’s feet. It became a United States symbol for freedom and democracy, after its American revolution. The statue received about 4.44 million visitors in 2017. Despite its fame, it receives a relatively low amount of visitors in comparison with other top destinations.
Indian Statue: Feedback
The Statue of Unity has instilled a chorus of outrage from the UK. The UK MP, Peter Bone, has chastised this choice of the statue, claiming that India can spend its money how it wants, but if they can afford the statue, they should not qualify as a country that the UK is giving aid to.
Indeed, a large portion of India’s population lives in poverty. However, this is a situation of the pot calling the kettle black. The UK’s population is split into sections of wealth inequality. As of this month, the United Nations is launching an investigation into extreme levels of poverty in the United Kingdom, which has an image of being one of the richest countries in the world.
Previous Aid to India from the UK
Of the 1.1 billion pounds that the UK gave to India in aid, 268 million pounds were in 2013, 278 million pounds were in 2014, and 185 million pounds were in 2015. In terms of financing, the statue cost India the equivalent of more than 1 year of aid from the UK.
Whether the UK likes it or not, the statue is now open. Its opening drew attention from international media and from people from all over the world. Hopefully, future tourism will allow additional funds to flow into India as well as allow the country to give back to the world.
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