India inaugurates world's tallest statue to celebrate independence hero

India inaugurates world's tallest statue to celebrate independence hero

India inaugurates world's tallest statue to celebrate independence hero

PM Modi unveiled a 182-metre-tall statue of Patel, considered to be the tallest in the world, at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat Wednesday to mark the 143rd birth anniversary of the first home minister of Independent India.

The towering bronze monument, called "Statue of Unity", is nearly twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and over 30 metres higher than the current record holder, China's Spring Temple Buddha.

General view of the "Statue of Unity" portraying Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of India, during its inauguration in Kevadia, in the western state of Gujarat, India, October 31, 2018. The imposing monument is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the United States and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's Narmada district. He had promised to deliver the project, despite criticism that India couldn't afford to spend so much money on such an indulgence.

Air force jets flew over the figure and rose petals were dropped from helicopters as Mr Modi bent in front of the statue. However, the statue has been named as the "Statue of Unity". Around 3,000 workers and 250 engineers worked together to create this statue.

Posters of Modi with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were torn down or had their faces blackened at the weekend.

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Patel led the Indian National Congress which forged the Indian movement for independence, following World War II when the party put pressure on the British government to pass an independence bill in July 1947.

The "Statue of Unity" is double the size of the Statue of Liberty in NY standing 240 metres high.

In the largely tribal town of Dediapada, roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the statue, villagers shuttered shops and closed the main market for the day in protest.

A barrister and statesman by profession, Sardar Vallabhai Patel was noted as the "Iron Man of India", as he had unified 562 princely states post India's independence. It is made up of almost 100,000 tonnes of concrete and steel.

The statue was officially opened by the Indian President Narendra Modi in an event attended by more that 5,000 police officers, The Guardian reports. The current design would make it 212 metres high.

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