Decision to remove Mahatma's statue evokes sharp reaction in Kamrup

Guwahati
9 Aug 2017

The decision of the Kamrup (Metro) district administration to remove the iconic statue of Mahatma Gandhi atop the Gandhi mondop here has evoked sharp reaction and strong resentment from artists and freedom fighters.
The decision to remove Mahatma Gandhi's statue was taken at a meeting chaired by deputy commissioner M Angamuthu on Monday for development of the Gandhi Mondop under Guwahati Smart City project and for eviction of encroachers on its Sarania Hill, according to a district administration press release. "The 47-year old statue has been made by an unparallel sculptor like Ramkinkar Baij. The bronze statue is a pride of Assam and we are fortunate to have it in our state", Manik Bora, president of the Heritage Conservation Society of Assam told news agency PTI today.
"Removal of the statue will be criminal and unfortunate. We strongly condemn the move of the administration to remove the statue and we will protest against it", said the noted art critic and film maker. "If a hammer is lifted to dismantle the statue, we the artists and all like-minded people will put our head under it. The government has not realised the value of the statue...the west will pay crores of Dollars to possess this statue", Bora asserted. Assam Freedom Fighters Association president Jatin Goswami, also opposing the move, said: "The statue is an honour to the state. We will not allow the government to remove the Mahatma's statue".
"We don't approve the move of the government and we will submit a memorandum to the administration to withdraw its decision to keep the statue in its original place", Goswami said. A spokesperson from the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Assam Branch, located at the foothill of Sarania Hill where the Gandhi Mondop is, said "it is not a good move...it cannot be allowed. We have sent for the detailed papers on the administration's decision".