Would you back a Rs 350 crore statue in the sea?

Vishal Dadlani, hats off to you! Where’s that online petition? I should sign it, www.smallchange.in, if you must go there too. This is one stand I must applaud.

Rs 350 crores for a Shivaji statue in the sea. Dont get me wrong, I have nothing against Shivaji. Or statues. Or the many pigeons who will find pooping landing areas on various spots on said statue. What did get my goat was the amount being spent on it. Rs 350 crores. That is not peanuts. That is yours and mine hardearned money in these recessionary times, and gosh, I could do with some of it back, you know. I dont think Mumbai would be lesser without this statue in the sea.

The Hindustan Times today has a page 2 article about what Rs 350 crores can get the city of Mumbai, and I would rather have one of those, than said statue. Let private donors and fans of Shivaji chip in their funds to build said statue, appropriate permissions in place and land acquired through legal means and no favour calling or arm twisting.

I would rather Rs 350 crores was spent on a hospital for the poor. A place where there were no forms to be filled out while a person dies waiting in the line to submit the form. Where poor relatives need to scrounge around for funds to organise medicines to let treatment continue.

And yes, an inconic statue like a symbolic one, for eg, The Statue of Liberty which is a New York icon, or the Christ The Redeemer at Rio De Janeiro, does become a landmark for a city. Mumbai could do with such a landmark. Honestly, I’d rather we had a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Or Mother Theresa.

I would rather Rs 350 crores fed the farmers killing themselves in Vidharba. I would rather the Rs 350 crores ensured that all the children in our city were ensured of an education and one meal a day. I would rather our trains kept up pace with the growth in our city’s population enabling us to travel in conditions that are not subhuman at times. I would rather memorials are built as functional living monuments. Schools. Universities. Hospitals.

And yes, someone needs to tell this lady that she does not a pretty statue make. Nor has she done anything to deserve being immortalised in stone. And statues are constructed of dead people.

What do you think? Go sign.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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28 Responses to Would you back a Rs 350 crore statue in the sea?

  1. Shivani says:

    I wouldn’t AT ALL Kiran. I’ve been seething ever since I’ve read that report of the statue. But then I don’t think online petitions achieve anything either (yes I’m a hardened cynic) 😦


  2. Kiran Manral says:

    Shivani: This is going to be filed as a PIL. Not restricted to an online petition. Which makes it worthwhile. I dont believe in lip service too, which most online stuff ends up being. But this I hope will go further. He’s taken his first online petition into a PIL filed in court.


  3. *stops applauding and goes off to sign the petition*


  4. madhu says:

    I really agree to this article. There are many people in India.I really feel same about the sripuram golden temple. 6000 crores money was spent on its construction. Imagine if the people around the temple is suffering for drinking water spending this much of money for temple????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


  5. Meira says:

    Signed. Pshaw! Should sign one to get these people out of those politician chairs!


  6. Sonia says:

    This is just ridiculous and especially in these times! Have signed the petition, thanks for letting us know Kiran


  7. maya says:

    the 360 crore is not going to be poured into the sea.
    it will be paid to workmen and artisans and engineering firms who in turn are going to employ many people to create this statue.

    if not spent here, it is hardly likely to be gifted away to the poor. by this arguement, we should all forgo lunch buffets because our farmers are starving. but do we?

    i don’t see why mumbai should not have a shivaji statue. for better or worse he is the local hero. i see no reason to be ashamed of him.


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Maya: True. But we do have many Shivaji statues already dont we. At Juhu Chowpatty I pass one everyday. I dont have anything for or against Shivaji, and I’m a sucker for historic figures too.

      I dont think the lunch buffets arguments holds, with all due respect, that is a personal decision. You cannot compel individuals to do charity. But funds which are part of a public exchequer need to be used in a way which benefits the public at large. It may help the workers and the engineering firm and the architectural consultants, but after that what? Will it have ongoing positive benefits for the individuals. A few crores would have not mattered. But this is a huge amount.


  8. jaya says:

    Signed the petition…this is the reason i like your blog, you have emotions but they are where they should be and you do not get personal 🙂 good job


  9. Shivani says:


    //if not spent here, it is hardly likely to be gifted away to the poor//
    Not gifted, yes. But the Maharashtra govt. can use it to free the farmers of their debt & possibly provide capital & infrastructure to start anew. No one is going to dole out wads of hard cash.

    //by this arguement, we should all forgo lunch buffets because our farmers are starving//
    No.The fundamental difference here is that I can & will have all the buffets & lunches in the world with *my* own hard-earned money. I work to get paid & a part of that fills the Maharashtra govt’s coffers. I definitely don’t want to see that money being utilised to build a statue in the sea, hero or not.

    apologise in advance for replying to Maya before you did. And you’re right, signing the petition does not harm me in any way. If any good is going to come out of my one signature, so be it! 🙂


  10. Pallavi says:

    These office bearers come up with ingenuously ridiculous ideas each day. Did the least I could to stop ’em. Signed the petition.


  11. Veena says:

    I am against any statue – be it Chatrapati Shivaji, Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa. At this time, a statue is definitely the last thing we need.


  12. Maria says:

    Yea, i have been so upset with such things and the way the govt is spending our heard earned money (which we gave away as tax),
    Yesterday I was shocked that a politican like Mani Shankar Iyer was justifying the decision and fighting tooth and nail why we ‘need’ to have the 350 cr statue.
    I mean cmon give us the schools, hospis…and the list is endless like you pointed out!
    And Madam Maya is now spending our Rs 42 crore on a mansion for herself sprawling 1,00,000 sq ft area.
    Im royally pissed! Grrrrrrr…


  13. Homecooked says:

    Thanks for this post! I signed the petition. I would rather my tax money go to better infrastructure. If the workers can be paid to build a statue, they can very well be paid the same amount to build better roads, highways,schools and hospitals. I dont need a statue of Shivaji to justify paying the workforce. And if the govt feels its has an excess of 350 crores pls return my tax money I can pay off some loans 🙂

    And Kiran is doing amazing things with her Indiahelps blog…I am sure the volunteers do forgo their lunch buffets and time to help the needy. I fully agree with Shivani in whatever she has said. If I am paying the govt taxes I’d rather get something back which I can use like roads which are not dug up all the time and trains which are not bursting at the seams. I dont have any use for a statue at this time however grand it is going to be.


  14. Rani says:

    Damn! that petition thing is blocked at my workplace and I don’t have internet at my room.


    I’ll spread the word though, the least I can do.


  15. faeriee says:

    I saw a statue of Mayawati in which she was standing with a purse in her hands – I mean, why would anyone wanna carve that purse too ?


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