Saturday, May 30, 2009

Statues adorning streets of India

Indian Politicians have a penchant for erecting statues and constructing memorials for departed leaders. There are statues of selfless patriots who fought for independence, leaders of some dominant or underprevileged castes and some leaders who just were in power at the time of erection of their own statues.

We take pride about "Unity in diversity" when we talk about the co-existence of people of diverse backgrounds in one India.

But at the same time our leaders do not hesitate to divide the people on the basis of language, caste, creed etc.. There are leaders who started their political career as leader by mobilizing one caste or a basket of castes. Such consolidation of one or more castes always depended on spreading hatred against another class of people. Indian citizens are now clearly divided on the basis of their language, religion, caste etc.. Virtual battles have taken place in the past between such divided communities.

The availability of statues at street corners help people who want to create trouble. If one wants to ignite a war between two communities or even political parties, he just has to cause some damage or throw mud on a statue. Emotionally charged mob will take to the streets to block traffic, damage public properties and spread
further hatred between one another.

So to ensure peace, the rulers have to protect citizens as also the statues getting added to the public places. Do we have the resources to ensure security of all the statues?

In the interest of social harmony, we should ban erection of any more statues at public places. It would be ideal to move all the statues, many of them hindering traffic, to a safe place preferably in front of the local Police Station so that no miscreant would attempt to desecrate them.

Will the rulers listen to this sane suggestion?