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Mahatma Gandhi and Lenin co-exist in Odisha

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Mar 8, 2018, 2:34 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2018, 3:50 am IST

The two statues were unveiled amidst much fanfare, and the place has since been known as the Lenin Chhak.

Statue of Lenin was razed down in Tripura (L), Periyar statue was defaced in Vellore (C), Syama Prasad Mookerjee's statue was defaced in Kolkata (R). (Photo: Twitter | PTI | ANI)
 Statue of Lenin was razed down in Tripura (L), Periyar statue was defaced in Vellore (C), Syama Prasad Mookerjee's statue was defaced in Kolkata (R). (Photo: Twitter | PTI | ANI)

Bhubaneswar: The aftermath of the Tripura elections has witnessed mayhem and violence, resulting in the toppling of the statue of Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. While the CPI (M) has blamed the

BJP for the “indecent” act, the latter has denied this, saying it “does not practise the culture of violence”. However, in a small corner of rural Odisha, statues of both Mahatma Gandhi and Lenin rub shoulders.

In the village of Dandi under Basta block, Balasore district, stand the two statues that were put up in 1984. The sight of the statues is heartwarming, an example of the might of the human spirit. Historian Anil Dhir narrates an interesting history behind the statues:

“The area had been a bastion of the Communist Party for years. Sometime during the peak of Indo-Russian co-operation, the local unit of the party invited the consul general of Russia to Kolkata to put up a statue of Lenin in the village. When D-Day came near, the babus at Bhubaneswar saw red. They put a halt to the programme, but the minor diplomatic storm in the teacup made the Centre intervene. It was decided that the consul general would inaugurate two statues -- the Mahatma and Lenin. The same size statue of the Mahatma was hurriedly procured and set up along with Lenin’s statue.”

The two statues were unveiled amidst much fanfare, and the place has since been known as the Lenin Chhak.

Tags: mahatma gandhi, lenin
Location: India, Odisha, Bhubaneswar