Chouhan’s ‘Statue of Wis­dom’

Gi­ant Adi Shankara statue to come up by the Nar­mada

India Today - - STATES - By Rahul Noronha

The times are such that states are com­pet­ing to build grander, larger-than-life stat­ues to cel­e­brate icons from his­tory. So it's no sur­prise that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan govern­ment in Mad­hya Pradesh has un­veiled plans to in­stal a 108 foot tall sculp­ture of Adi Shankaracharya on the banks of the Nar­mada at Omkaresh­war.

The state pro­poses to reg­is­ter the Adi Shankaracharya San­skri­tik Ekta Nyas, a pub­lic trust that Chouhan will chair, to ex­e­cute the project. And like in the Stature of Unity - the Sar­dar Pa­tel project in neigh­bor­ing Gu­jarat - the trust will run a 15-day (June 15-30) cam­paign to col­lect re­cy­clable metal for the project from across the state. This, the CM hopes, will in­voke a sense of pride and own­er­ship amid peo­ple vis-a-vis the Project. Hav­ing Pledged To Con­trib­ute The Re­main­der Of The Cost From The State's Cof­fers, Chouhan Hopes To In­stall The Tallest Adi Shankaracharya Statue In The World In MP.

Work­ing with a three-tier sys­tem, the project will req­ui­si­tion the help of sad­hus and tem­ple work­ers to col­lect metal from peo­ple's homes. The Jan Ab­hiyan Par­ishad, an um­brella or­gan­ised the Nar­mada Seva Ya­tra, will be the co­or­di­nat­ing agency for the project.

It’s notable that rather than opt­ing for po­lit­i­cal icons like Sar­dar Pa­tel in Gu­jarat or Ma­ha­rash­tra's Shivaji me­mo­rial in the Ara­bian Sea, CM Chouhan de­cided to go with an early 8th cen­tury re­li­gious philoso­pher. Adi Shankara is cred­ited with con­sol­i­dat­ing the doc­trine of Ad­vaita vedanta.

An­a­lysts be­lieve Chouhan is look­ing to score brownie points with the RSS, which proves of the cel­e­bra­tion of Hindu icons. But Manoj Shri­vas­tava, prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary, cul­ture, in­sists "the MP govern­ment isn't feet was cho­sen as the height of the sculp­ture, he says, only be­cause it’s an “aus­pi­cious” num­ber.

THE BIG­GEST CM Chouhan re­leas­ing a book on Adi Shankaracharya in Bhopal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.