India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue
31 October, 2018, 13:11
"The Statue of Unity" project was announced by Modi back in 2010 when he was still the chief minister for the state of Gujarat.
Two high speed elevators inside can take tourists up to the statue's chest from where around 200 visitors can view the Narmada River and Sardar Sarovar Dam over it.
"October 31 also is the death anniversary of our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi". He was known as the "Iron Man of India" after he persuaded feuding states to unite and become part of the Indian state after independence.
The 128-metre Spring Temple Buddha in China had previously held the record for the tallest statue. The chiefs of 22 villages near the statue signed an open letter calling on Modi to stay away from the inauguration.
The Prime Minister said although India had no direct connection with the First World War but it was an important event because Indian soldiers fought bravely and played a very big role by sacrificing their lives.
The 182-metre imposing monument is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the USA and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's Narmada district.
Some political commentators have criticized Modi for his expenditure on the statue complex at a time when the adivasi indigenous people who farm the land acquired for it are in economic straits and have protested against it.
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