Statue Of Unity unveiled patriotically, details here

India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue

India's prime minister on Wednesday unveiled a towering bronze statue of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, a key independence leader and the country's first home minister after British colonialists left in 1947.

The towering bronze monument, called "Statue of Unity", is nearly twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and over 30 metres higher than the current record holder, China's Spring Temple Buddha.

That figure is not the most mind-boggling concerned with the construction of the Statue of Unity, built on Sadhu Island, in the western state of Gujarat. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Patel hail from Gujarat state.

SARDAR SAROVAR DAM, INDIA India inaugurated the world's tallest statue yesterday with fireworks, folk dances and floral tributes, deploying security amid an outcry by local groups over the cost of the 182m sculpture of an independence hero.

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But the authorities took no chances in case community groups staged protests to condemn the decision to spend 29.9 billion rupees ($400 million) -much of it public funds- to build the statue over a almost four-year period.

Modi, whose nationalist government has made the statue one of its flagship projects, paid tribute while the air force jets roared overhead and dance troupes performed.

A barrister and statesman by profession, Sardar Vallabhai Patel was noted as the "Iron Man of India", as he had unified 562 princely states post India's independence.

The Patel statue "puts the opposition in a quandary because any criticism of Modi's showmanship will enable him to depict critics as being legatees of those who denied Patel his rightful place in the nation and history", said Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a Delhi-based political analyst and author of the book Modi: The Man, The Times. Farmers and members of India's tribal communities protested the statue before it was unveiled.

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Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a 350 rupee ($4.75) admission fee for the 153-meter-high observation deck.

In an ironic twist, Patel is reported to have said during his lifetime that he was against the concept of buildings and statues being built to glorify individuals.

"On Sardar Patel's birthday, we hope the country remains united", the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said. The current design would make it 212 metres high.

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