Short answer: Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity is the pride of our nation.
For the past few days, I could see some popular arguments on social media (SM) which opposes the Statue of Unity, and this will make my views more clear.
I will point our few issues (counters) from people and my replies to them:
Counter 1: This statue is a waste of money
Well, the Statue is not a waste of money, indeed its an asset to our country. When you invest money in an asset, it will give you returns.
Lots of tourists will visit the tallest statue on this planet (182m) and hence the place will become a tourist hub. Pick any country viz. USA, China, Brazil, Singapore etc. , they have built such statues and now generating great revenues.
Counter 2: Don’t give me this lame excuse. All these countries are well developed.
Currently, they might be the developed countries, however, they have not developed countries at the time when such statues/monuments were built. You simply can’t ignore the level of tourism facility in these developed countries.
To move the trajectory from a ‘developing country’ to a ‘developed country’, India (government) should provide improved tourism and good infrastructure.
India is the 6th largest democracy. If not now, then when?
Counter 3: This Modi has spent too much money on this statue which is 2989 crore rupees.
Totally wrong argument. It was not spent by the Government of India (Modi), it was spent by the Gujarat tourism which comes under Gujarat government.
Total funds allocated by Gujarat government in the year 2018-19 is Rs 1,81,945 crore. And the total cost of building and maintenance for 15 years for Statue of Unity is 2989 crore which is 1.64% of total expenditure.
Counter 4: Why BJP is working on this but not working on providing Jobs to the youth?
The architects, engineers, and labors were not recruited from the Mars and Moon to make the Statue of Unity. They were Indians.
This is also a way how employment can be provided to the youth, it’s not always that the government should provide government jobs to all.
Counter 5: Don’t lie, it is ‘Made in China’ and private companies are being benefited from this.
The contract was given to the Larsen and Toubro and it is an Indian company. The only part of ‘Bronze cladding’ was of the being made by Chinese company TQ Art Foundry. It is being subcontracted to a Chinese company not contracted.
If any company is benefited because they did work then why we should have problems? This attitude made us less ‘developed’ in terms of industry and technology.
Counter 6: It should be spent on education, health or farmers.
If I give Rs. 1 lakh to a middle-class person and a rich person then the middle class will buy liability while a rich person will buy assets. Thus, cash flow will be continued for a rich person.
Similarly, the government invested some money and it will be returned by adding some amount. The government will have high revenue and thus the ultimate burden on income tax will be decreased. Money can be better utilized.
Counter 7: Ok fine, we could build a small statue. What is the ultimate benefit from making such a large statue?
Statue of Liberty (93 m) is nowhere in the race of the Statue of Unity (182 m). Still, it attracted 4.5 million tourists.
In 2016, 4.5 million park visitors spent an estimated $263.2 million in local gateway regions while visiting Statue Of Liberty National Monument. These expenditures supported a total of 3.4 thousand jobs, $155.4 million in labor income, $240.7 million in value added, and $364 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding Statue Of Liberty National Monument.
Official data provided by National Park Service. Think of 182m tall statue.
Counter 8: Ok, you might be right! It is a politically motivated move by BJP to glorify Sardar Patel and hence get Patel votes.
It was a politically motivated move that the national hero of India was sidelined to glorify by a particular family. It was politically motivated move that Sardar’s daughter was not even provided a seat in Ahmedabad Congress House.
Politically motivated moves can’t be undone by becoming apolitical. It is great that the sidelined heroes of India are getting their original places back in Modi’s era.
I tried to counter the common counters against the Statue of Unity and made my views clear.