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Statue of Unity will inspire generations, says Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s family

The Rs 2,389-crore Statue of Unity is a tribute to Statue of Unity who played a major role in integrating the more than 500 princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2018 15:47 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Kevadiya
statue of unity,Sardar Patel,Sardar Patel statue
Indian tri-coloured balloons fly around the "Statue of Unity" portraying Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during its inauguration in Kevadia, in Gujarat on October 31.(REUTERS)

The 182m-tall Statue of Unity will be a source of inspiration for generations to come, the family of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said on Wednesday as they praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for keeping his legacy alive.

Thirty-seven members of India’s first home minister attended the unveiling of the world’s tallest statue by Modi on Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary at Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district.

“This is a once in a lifetime moment. We all have come from the US, Mumbai, Vadodara, Vallabh Vidyanagar. The statue will remain a source of inspiration for generations to come,” his grandnephew Dhirubhai Patel, who lives in Gujarat’s Vadodara, said.

The statue, made of 210,000 cubic metres of cement, 25,000 tonnes of steel and 1,700 tonnes of bronze, has Patel in traditional attire with a shawl over his shoulders.

Urmilaben Patel, who lives in Vallabh Vidyanagar, praised the Prime Minister for seeing the project through.

“What the Prime Minister did to keep Sardar Saheb’s legacy alive, no one has done. It is sad that some people still criticise the PM,” she said.

Samir Patel, another family member, said that India’s history would have been different if Sardar were the first PM. “He would have solved the Kashmir issue if Sardar Saab were made the first PM,” he said.

Dhirubhai also recollected how Patel and his immediate family members avoided favouritism.

“When I had just completed engineering, I went to meet Maniben (Patel’s daughter) to ask for a job. She told me like you many other youths want the same. You have to wait and find yourself,” he said.

The Rs 2,389-crore monument is a tribute to Patel who played a major role in integrating the more than 500 princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.

The statue, whose foundation was laid by Modi in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, will dwarf the current tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China (128m), and will be almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 15:46 IST