Petitions divide opinion on Chhatrapati Shivaji statue

Hundreds of people have signed an online petition supporting the construction of the memorial.

Mumbai: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone to construct the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea, a series of criticisms have started doing the rounds on social media. However, hundreds of people have signed an online petition supporting the construction of the memorial.

Bhushan Agarwal has started this petition on the website Earlier, a woman named Karishma Upadhyay had started an online petition on the same website to oppose the memorial. Mr Agarwal, in his petition, stated that some sections of the media and a few ‘so-called intellectuals’ have started a smear campaign to create an environment for people to oppose the memorial by whipping up emotions regarding issues of health, school, water, food, open spaces, etc. He further stated that Shivaji Maharaj is an epic personality in Indian history and cannot be compared to anyone. Arguments regarding the memorial are very disappointing and sad, Mr Agarwal further said.

He concluded by stating that the sentiments of 125 crore ‘true Indians’ are with Shivaji Maharaj and no one should dare think of stopping the project. Ms Upadhyay, on her part, had earlier filed an online petition to oppose the Shivaji memorial.

In her petition, she said, “This is tax payers’ money and I am sure we would all like this money to be spent on something better like education, infrastructure, and food… anything but a statue that is of no use to anyone. This is not what Shivaji would have wanted and I am sure we can find other ways to honour him.” She further stated that this statue is going to be harmful for the environment, for the traffic situation in South Mumbai and a security nightmare.

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