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PTI ahmedabad India
Updated: 31-10-2018 14:05 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

on Wednesday inaugurated an imposing 182-metre statue of

Sardar Patel, touted as the world's tallest, and said it will

serve as a reminder about his courage to thwart conspiracy to

disintegrate India.

He used to occasion to slam those criticising the

decision to build the monument, questioning whether any crime

had been committed by constructing such memorials for national

heroes like Patel.

The imposing monument, named as the 'Statue of Unity' and

built on an islet Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam in

Gujarat's Narmada district, is twice the height of the Statue

of Liberty in the US.

The monument was conceptualised by Modi during his tenure

as Gujarat Chief Minister and he had laid the foundation stone

for it in 2013.

The ceremony, which coincided with the 143rd birth

anniversary of Patel, also known as the 'Iron man of India,

was attended by Gujarat Governor O P Kohli, Chief Minister

Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Amit Shah besides a number of other

leaders hailing from Gujarat.

"The world's tallest statue would remind the entire

world, the future generations about the courage, capabilities

and resolution of the person who did this holy work of

thwarting the conspiracy to disintegrate Mother India into

pieces," the prime minister said addressing a gathering after

inaugurating the monument.

"The statue will remind those who question India's

existence, that this nation was, is and will remain eternal,"

Modi said.

"This (statue) is a source of unity...with this

sentiment we should march...and march with a dream to make the

country 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' (One India, Superior

India)," he added.

Modi said his government has taken up the cause of

bringing to life the history and contributions of great


"During the last four years, our government has set up

many memorials of our national heroes, including this sky-high

statue of Sardar Patel, his museum in Delhi, Dr. Bhimrao

Ambedkar's Panch Tirth and a memorial dedicated to son of

Gujarat's soil, Shyamji Krishna Varma," he said.

He then listed various other upcoming memorials and

initiatives, such as Chhatrapati Shivaji's statue in Mumbai

and a museum dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

"But, to my surprise, some people of this country are

seeing our movement through the political glasses. We are

criticized for praising the contributions of national heroes

like Sardar Patel. We are made to feel as if we have committed

a serious crime," he said.

He then posed a question to the audience, "You tell me,

is it a crime to remember our national heroes?"

To this, the audience replied in the negative.

"It was the sentiment of crores of Indians that the man

who united the country should get honour he deserved," Modi


He said it was the responsibility of the people to give

a befitting reply to the efforts "aimed at dividing the


Modi said if Patel had not united the country, the

countrymen would have needed visas to see lions in Junagadh or

pay homage at Somnath in Gujarat or view the Charminar in


Remembering Sardar Patel's contribution in uniting the

country by annexing over 550 princely states, Modi said the

great leader had "successfully foiled a conspiracy to divide

India in to pieces"

Sardar Patel had used force to annex princely states of

Junagadh ruled by Nawab and Hyderabad ruled by nizam, both of

whom had wished not to merge their states with the India


The prime minister said Patel had a mix of diplomatic

skills of Kautilya, a statesman and philosopher, and the

valour of warrior King Shivaji in him.

Modi described the 'Statue of Unity' as a symbol of

the country's engineering and technical capabilities.

He said his government is treading the path shown by

Sardar Patel.

"Like Sardar Patel united the country geographically by

merging erstwhile princely states, we have united the country

economically by bringing in GST," the PM said.

"We are expanding Sardar Patel's resolve of uniting

the country by introducing various schemes, such as One

Nation One Grid, eNAM and Bharatmala. Through such schemes of

connecting the country, we are committed to make Ek Bharat

Shreshth Bharat(One India Best India)" he said.

The statue has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of

cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of

structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, which was

used for the outer cladding of the structure.

A viewing gallery has been created at a height of 135

metres inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of

the dam and nearby mountain ranges.

Hailing farmers, Modi said lakhs of them from across

India came together, gave their tools, parts of their land in

order to build the statue.

Modi also suggested the Gujarat government to set up a

"virtual museum", near the statue, in the memory of all the

erstwhile royals who had given up their states for a united


In his speech, Modi stressed that the statue would

generate immense employment opportunities for the local

tribals living near the dam in Narmada district.

"Tourism activities would also change the lives of

locals here. This will also spread the indigenous knowledge

across the world. I am confident that this statue will become

a centre to improve agriculture as well as the lives of local

tribals here," Modi said.

Modi had initially envisioned building of the statue by

carving out a large rock near the dam.

"I visited the mountain ranges of this area to find a

large rock which can be carved into a statue. After an intense

search, I realized that the rocks are not strong enough. Thus,

I changed my idea and came up with this thought(of building

statue using concrete, steel and bronze)" said Modi.

After his speech, Modi walked upto the base of the

statue and offered floral tributes to Sardar Patel. He also

visited a museum built beneath the statue and a viewing

gallery created at a height of 135 metres inside the statue.

A puja was also performed on the occasion.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)