Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday dedicated the world’s tallest 182-meter tall ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary in a grand function marked by cultural programmes and air show by IAF.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the statue has been built to towering height befitting the towering personality of Sardar Patel, as a living specimen of Sardar Patel to reflect his resolve, determination and contribution in uniting India at the time of Independence. It will continue to be a source of inspiration for the future generations about the unity and sacrifices of Indians.
Modi hit out at his critics saying had Sardar Patel not worked for unity”, “shiv bhakts” wouldn’t have been able to pray at the Somnath Temple today.
“Imagine for a moment that if Sardar Patel had not worked towards uniting the nation, Indians would have to get a visa to see the Gir lions and tigers…and shiv bhakts would need a visa to do puja at the Somnath temple…people would also need a visa to see the Charminar in Hyderabad,” said the Prime Minister.
The PM performed the ceremony of unveiling the statue virtually by pulling a lever. He acknowledged the contribution of crores of farmers from lakhs of villages in the form of iron farm implements in building this statue who took it as a campaign.
He said the statue will not only stand out as a symbol of pride and strength of crores of Indians but also contributing to the economy of the nation and job creation. The project will help thousands of tribal people living in the surrounding areas improve their standard of living and will become a centre of tourism of unity.
He also termed the statue as a symbol of “engineering marvel”. The entire mammoth project was completed by 2,500 engineers and workers with their day-night efforts under the competent leadership of 90-year-old, well known and Padma Shri Awardees sculptor, Mr. Ram Suthar. This would not have been achieved without having sentiments of “national unity, dedication, and feelings of a “mission in mind”.
Modi called upon the youths to come forward to fulfill the dream of ‘One India, Best India’ envisaged by Sardar Patel. Criticizing the political rivals for politicizing the event, Modi asked, “Is it a crime to remember the national leaders?” He also recalled the words of Sardar Saheb that for the betterment of the nation every citizen must put aside their caste and religious based division and must just remember that they are Indians. The Statue of Unity would become a destination of unity for the world.
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