A metal monument was cast in China and then assembled in India which has now come under heavy scrutiny. So what exactly is China’s role in the Statue of Equality controversy?
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The 216-foot seated Ramanujacharya deity in a temple in Hyderabad, known as the Statue of Equality, has sparked a feud between Congress and the reigning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The statue was created in China, according to Congressman Rahul Gandhi, who also questioned India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ concept (self-reliant India).
Gandhi’s remarks, according to Union Minister of Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy, were “shallow.”
Why does this story matter?
Gandhi’s remarks come just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Statue of Equality, emphasizing India’s desire to reduce its reliance on Chinese commodities.
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The BJP government, for example, began projects such as ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ to make the country self-sufficient in every way.
Since a border dispute arose in 2020, India’s relations with China have remained tense.
What did Gandhi say?
How did the Union Minister react to Gandhi’s comments?
The State of Equality, according to Reddy, was a fully private enterprise that had been prepared since over eight years.
He tweeted, “At that time Congress was in power in both center and state,100% funds were raised privately and the government of India provided NO financial support.”
Reddy further stated that the project was in the works before India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative was introduced.
Chinese firm acquired the tender in 2015
The project’s tender was won by China’s Aerosun Corporation in 2015.
A notable Indian corporation was also in the hunt for the tender.
The metal monument was cast in China and then mounted in India for about 15 months.
The idol was shipped to India in 1,600 pieces, with approximately 70 Aerosun Corporation personnel assisting with its assembly.
Entire project worth Rs. 1,000 crore; spread over 45 acres
The statue was put in Shamshabad, near the Hyderabad airport, at Samata Kendram, a shrine.
According to reports, the spiritual center is being built on 45 acres of land donated by billionaire Jupally Rameswar Rao.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately Rs. 1,000 crore, with the statue alone costing Rs. 135 crores.
Chinna Jeeyar Swamy was the brains behind the initiative.
Who is Sri Ramanujacharya?
Ramanujacharya was a Hindu philosopher and social reformer whose ideas were influential in the Bhakti movement.
He is well known for publishing Sanskrit Bhashyas on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as being the founder of the Vishishtadvaita Vedanta subschool.
On February 6, Narendra Modi unveiled the statue.
The inauguration coincided with the saint’s 1,000th birthday celebrations.