BSE, BMC to jointly install replicas of charging bull, gong outside main building | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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BSE, BMC to jointly install replicas of charging bull, gong outside main building

ByPratip Acharya
May 01, 2022 10:21 PM IST

Established in 1875, the 147-year-old institution is not only Asia’s oldest bourse but is also one of the iconic landmarks of this city with a rich historical legacy.

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plan to jointly take up beautification work to signify the history of the BSE. Under the plan, a replica of the iconic Raging Bull, which is presently housed on the ground floor of the BSE, will be created and kept in a newly created traffic junction outside the BSE. The statue will be made entirely of bronze to signify the financial well-being of the BSE. Additionally, a replica of over century-old BSE gong will also be placed at the traffic junction.

The bull statue was installed in BSE in January 2008, months before the global economic crisis that took place later that year. (HT PHOTO)
The bull statue was installed in BSE in January 2008, months before the global economic crisis that took place later that year. (HT PHOTO)

Established in 1875, the 147-year-old institution is not only Asia’s oldest bourse but is also one of the iconic landmarks of this city with a rich historical legacy. In the language of stock trading, the BSE is symbolised by a ‘Charging Bull’ -- a bronze sculpture showing a big bull, leaning back on its hindlimbs with its head lowered as if ready to charge. This statue signifies aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.

“Internationally, the bull signifies the stock market going up. Over the years this Bull has become an iconic structure. Today, citizens cannot see the bull as it is inside the premises. Hence we have decided to create a replica of this bull and place it outside the exchange,” Ashish Kumar Chauhan, the Managing Director and CEO of the BSE told Hindustan Times.

The bull statue was installed in BSE in January 2008, months before the global economic crisis that took place later that year. After the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, the entire BSE vicinity was being barricaded and citizens were prohibited from entering the building premises.

Chauhan mentioned that another replica of the famous BSE Gong will be created which will be placed beside the Bull. The Gong or Bell is a large metal disc which was rung earlier during the opening and closing of the market.

“Since the digitization of the share markets post-1995, we don’t ring the Gong anymore. Today it’s being kept as a memento in the BSE Hall, and we only ring it during the listing of a new company in the stock market or whenever celebrities or VVIPs visit us,” Chauhan said.

The BSE is located at Dalal Street which is 450 meters from the Horniman Circle. City Historian, Shekhar Krishnan states that this precinct was the first major business hub of Mumbai (then Bombay) “The first organized method of trading in our country started from this area. Between 1840 and 1870, cotton trading boomed in India and everyday traders used to gather in and around the present-day Horniman Circle area to trade cotton. Later business and commercial sectors became more organized and systemic which led to the formation of the BSE in 1875,” said Shekhar Krishnan, a city-based historian.

The Plan

The project is being planned jointly by the BSE and BMC. The BSE will fund the statues, while the BMC has carried out the on-ground planning for the traffic island.

The cost of the statues has been pegged at 45 lakh and civic officials said that the Bull will be made by sculptor Bhagwan Rampure, who made the original one. Rampure will make the Bull in his Solapur workshop, following which it will be transported to Mumbai.

Conservation architect Pankaj Joshi from Urban Center Mumbai has been appointed by the BMC to design this project. Joshi said that an island will be created in a traffic median where the Mumbai Samachar Marg touches the Horniman Circle. The proposed island will be just 90 metres from the main BSE building.

“The spot where we intend to create this island has a dead parking area. The traffic island will be created in the centre of the road and sculptures will be installed on it. There will be information tablets that will give out significant information about the BSE Bull and the entire periphery of the proposed traffic island will be upgraded and transformed into a pedestrian-friendly zone,” said Joshi.

Joshi also said that besides the bull and gong a statue of RK Laxman’s iconic ‘Common Man’ will also be placed at the median which will be created by renowned sculptor Digamber Chichkar.

Authority Speak

Dr Sanjeev Kumar, additional municipal commissioner (City) who is spearheading this project on behalf of the BMC said that the proposal of taking up this project came from state minister of environment Aaditya Thackeray.

“After the proposal was made, we carried out several meetings with the Heritage Committee, Mumbai Traffic Police, BSE administration, architects and sculptors to ensure everyone is on the same page and the project is completed smoothly,” Kumar said. He stated that the entire project will take three months to complete.

“The BSE is one of the iconic landmarks of this city and its historicity needs to be restored and highlighted. We believe after this project is completed the entire BSE area will garner more tourist footfall,” said Dr Kumar.

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