At Dandi, Gandhiji and Lenin stand together in peace

A statue of the Mahatma matching the dimensions of Lenin’s was procured, set up and inaugurated amidst fanfare.

Published: 07th March 2018 01:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2018 02:58 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: As Tripura tackles with violence post razing of Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s statue and the call for installation of Mahatma Gandhi’s image in its place grows louder, hundreds of kilometres away here in Odisha, the two leaders stand shoulder to shoulder amidst peace. In Dandi, a small village of Balasore district, the statues of Gandhiji and Lenin sharing the same space is an example of tolerance for people of different ideologies.

Researcher Anil Dhir, who dug up the fact, reveals the history behind the two statues standing in a few feet distance at Lenin Chhak. The area, he says, was once a Communist Party bastion and during the peak of Indo-Russian co-operation, local unit of the party invited the then Consul General of Russia at Kolkata to put up Lenin’s statue in the village. It was in 1984. “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 brought Central intervention,” says Dhir.

It was finally decided that the Consul General would inaugurate statues of both the Mahatma and Lenin. A statue of the Mahatma matching the dimensions of Lenin’s was procured, set up and inaugurated amidst fanfare. The place has since been known as Lenin Chhak. The pedestals on two small platforms, about 20 feet from each other, are set up on the premises of a now abandoned school. “This, perhaps, is the only place in the world where the apostle of peace and the radical Communist share space. The sight of the statues is a heartwarming one, an example of the might of human spirit,” says Dhir.

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp