The Gautam Budh Nagar district does not have a single public statue of Mahatma Gandhi except the one on the premises of Delhi Public School at Sector 30, Noida.
Despite a school and an intersection named after the national leader, the district doesn’t have a statue or park to commemorate him on his birth anniversary on October 2.
“The district doesn’t have a single statue of Gandhi or Lal Bahadur Shastri. It is high time the Noida authority takes up this issue and installs at least one statue in Gautam Budh Nagar district,” said NP Singh, the district magistrate.
While the Gandhi Smarak School at Chaura Raghunathpur village has Gandhi’s name, neither the school nor the village has a statue of the leader. Founded in 1969, the upper primary school has 800 students. School principal Ramesh Bharadwaj said the school management plans to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on Sunday with a photograph of him.
“We have a photograph of Gandhiji and we will garland it and offer prayers in his remembrance on Sunday. We have no other option,” said Bharadwaj.
Padma Bhushan recipient and renowned sculptor Ram V Sutar, feels that Gandhi reminds the younger generation of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters for the country’s independence and his statue should be erected in the district.
“The statue installed at DPS was made by me. It was meant to be placed at the intersection of sectors 28 and 30. However, the Noida authority cancelled it saying that it is an encroachment. I believe Gandhi’s statue must be there so that the younger generation doesn’t forget his contributions.”
However, not all are in favour of a statue. Some believe the younger generation should adopt Gandhi’s ideology and reject tokenism.
“While a major portion of India’s population considers Gandhi a national icon, I don’t think it is necessary that every district must have a Gandhi statue just for the sake of tokenism. It is better that we incorporate Gandhi’s thinking in our lives. We can promote ‘Swadeshi’ goods and help rural artisans if we really wish to celebrate Gandhi,” said Meghnad Bose of Arun Vihar in Sector 28.