Online Petition Against Rs 3,600-Cr Shivaji Statue Gets 21k Votes
An artist’s impression of the proposed Shivaji memorial in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, Maharashtra. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://dgipr.maharashtra.gov.in/UPLOAD/ELOKRAJYA/2015/01/7489.pdf">DGIPR.gov.in</a>)
An artist’s impression of the proposed Shivaji memorial in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, Maharashtra. (Photo Courtesy: DGIPR.gov.in)

Online Petition Against Rs 3,600-Cr Shivaji Statue Gets 21k Votes

An online petition addressed to PM Narendra Modi against the Maharashtra government’s plan to build a Rs 3,600-crore Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial has garnered over 21,000 supporters till Friday evening.

Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the project, which will come up off Mumbai, on Saturday.

The petition on Change.org is also addressed to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. The memorial plan has drawn flak from some quarters, with many citing the rampant farmer suicides in the state to oppose it.

Also Read: Silent Maratha Protests: A Simmering Calm Before a Political Storm

The move is being viewed as Modi’s effort to woo members of the Maratha community shortly after they rose in agitation, demanding reservation under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

Also Read: DeQoded: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Maratha Protests

The protests began after a minor girl was gang raped, mutilated and murdered at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district in July. The matter was soon politicised and the protests turned into a demand for reservation.

However, if the PM is trying to court the Maratha vote bank, the move to cash in on Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy may backfire, as an earlier report by The Quint pointed out:

They (Maratha protesters) feel that the Maratha youth has missed out on the advantages of education and liberalisation. While they chose to rest on the laurels of their ancestors and Shivaji, the Brahmins, the OBCs and the Dalits have moved to cities and got decent jobs.