Sadhu Bet Island: After inaugurating the 182-metre tall ‘Statue of Unity’ on the fourth Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, to observe the 143rd birth anniversary of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday said that the statue will remind the future generation of the courage of India’s first Home Minister.
Prime Minister Modi said, “Events like today are very important in a country’s history and such events are difficult to erase. It is a historic and inspiring occasion for all Indians. I am fortunate to dedicate this statue of Sardar Sahib to the nation.” He underlined, “Today if we have unrestricted access from Kutch to Kohima, and from Kargil to Kanyakumari, it is all due to Sardar Sahib; it has been possible only because of his resolve.”
Elaborating on the hard work that went into building the statue, the Prime Minister said, “The Statue of Unity is also a symbol of our engineering and technological strengths. Workers and craftsmen have worked on a mission mode every day for the last three-and-half years. Under the leadership of Ram Sutar ji, the team of wonderful artisans of the country has accomplished this glorious monument of art.”
Tearing into the Opposition, the Prime Minister said: “I am amazed when some people of our own country dare to see this initiative from a political view and criticise us as if we have committed a huge crime. Is remembering the country’s great personalities a crime?” The statue stands on a ground occupying over 20,000 square meters in Sadhu Bet Island and is surrounded by a 12 square kilometre long artificial lake. The cost of the total project is estimated to be Rs. 2,989 crore.
The structure has the accolade of being the tallest statue in the world. The birthday of India’s Iron Man is being observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day since the year 2014. The day is being marked by people taking a pledge to protect the unity and integrity of the nation and is also marked by Run for Unity events being organised across the country. Apart from Prime Minister Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah were also present at the event.