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Rana Pratap had an Afghan general, while Shivaji, who is being shown as a Hindu icon,
Rana Pratap had an Afghan general, while Shivaji, who is being shown as a Hindu icon,
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Rana Pratap had an Afghan general, while Shivaji, who is being shown as a Hindu icon,
By Rashme Sehgal on 03/11/2017
was fighting the Mughals for political and regional assertion – not Hindu consolidation.

Concept plan of the Shivaji Memorial in Arabian Sea. Credit: Maharashtra government
On Diwali morning, the nation woke up to front page drama. Photos of actors dressed as Ram, Sita and Laxman, descending by helicopter on Ayodhya, were splashed by the dailies. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath carried out a symbolic coronation of Ram while the helicopter flew overhead showering flowers on the gathering.
Only a few weeks ago, Yogi Adityanath had announced that a grand statue of Lord Ram would be built on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya. The Centre immediately approved a grant of nearly Rs 134 crore for its construction as also for the development of Ayodhya as a tourist hub.
The statue, which will be over a 100 metres tall, may ultimately cost several thousand crores, say experts. However, before it begins work, the state government is playing it safe and is awaiting a clearance from the National Green Tribunal.
Meanwhile, work is in full progress on the construction of a Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai. Projected as the world’s tallest statue, it will surpass the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It will also be taller than the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel being built in Gujarat by eight metres. The statue of Shivaji will be 210 metres high (as tall as a 12-storey building) and will cost over Rs 3600 crore.
The government also plans to build a library, an amphitheatre, an aquarium, an IMAX theatre to showcase short films on the Maratha warrior king, a hospital and a helipad for VIPs.
The memorial will evoke the architectural glories of the Maratha period, with replicas of the Tuljabhavani temple, the entrance arch of the Raigad Fort and forecourts modelled on Maratha palaces and wadas, the traditional residences of Shivaji’s time. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted its bhoomipujan two years ago, water from rivers across Maharashtra and stones, soil and bricks from 19 locations significant in Shivaji’s life were brought to the site.

 

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