Statues in Parliament complex relocated, Congress hits out

The initiative aimed at consolidating the statues into one accessible area has drawn praise as well as criticism, particularly from opposition parties.
V-P Dhankar, outgoing LS Speaker Om Birla inaugurating new site for statues
V-P Dhankar, outgoing LS Speaker Om Birla inaugurating new site for statues PTI

NEW DELHI: Vice-President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday inaugurated the ‘Prerna-Sthal’, a newly established zone within the Lok Sabha premises dedicated to statues of the country’s revered leaders and freedom fighters.

The initiative aimed at consolidating the statues into one accessible area has drawn praise as well as criticism, particularly from opposition parties.

According to a statement, the relocation was intended to enhance the aesthetic appeal of Parliament while providing visitors with a centralised venue to pay homage and learn about the contributions of the iconic figures.

The decision to create Prerna-Sthal was preceded by discussions with stakeholders, according to outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who clarified that the statues were relocated within the complex rather than removed.

Raising concerns, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the relocation could reduce the visibility of democratic protests, which often used the statues as symbolic backdrops.

Prerna-Sthal is positioned between the old Parliament building and library building. Its design aims to make it a permanent venue for honoring national leaders, accessible year-round for visitors and hosting events commemorating their roles in nation-building.

The outer lawns of the Parliament complex now feature statues of eminent figures such as B R Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Hemu Kalani, Mahatma Basaveshwara, Kittur Rani Channamma, Motilal Nehru, Maharaj Ranjit Singh, Durga Malla, Birsa Munda, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, and Chaudhary Devi Lal.

It violates spirit of democracy, says Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said the statues of leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, have been removed from their prominent places in the Parliament House Complex and relocated to a separate corner. “Removing these statues arbitrarily, without any consultation, violates the basic spirit of our democracy. There are about 50 such statues or busts throughout the entire Parliament House,” he alleged.

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