Sunday, June 14, 2009


The State Government of Maharashtra after making a provision of Rs 200 crore (almost 4.5 million US Dollars) in its budget, appointed a technical committee headed by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan that has selected 3 architects from among 11 competing firms for the project of installing a 305 feet high (92.69 metres) statue of the Maratha king Shivaji. The statue will be on an artificial island off the shore of Marine Drive in the Arabian Sea and will also accommodate a library, a museum and an amphitheatre.
The short-listed firms include RG Patki Architects Pvt Ltd, Nitin Parulekar Architects Pvt Ltd and Team One Architects (Bharat S. Yamsanwar). In a state starved for infrastructure, amenities, social housing, with a growing farmer suicides this project is a strong indication of the sorry state of our so called democracy. The Indian Institute of Architects has approved of this so called "International Architectural Competition PWD Maharashtra" on their website.
Maybe in due course of time going by the nature of interstate politics we might have the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal littered with statues of different sword yielding, gun aiming and finger pointing local leaders representing different groups of politics, religion, caste, sub caste, tribe, race, language, region and everything that constitutes our cultural diversity. Sad, we can just stand and watch, while our representative-goons in politics recast history into skewed monstrosities. It is time to dress in white, hold hands, light candles and throw flowers (dominantly fashionable method of protest adopted by the very aggressive urban bourgeoisie in Bombay). Idiots.

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