The statue which is to be built in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast will be 192-metres tall, twice the size of the Statue of Liberty and — the tallest memorial in the world, said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Hindus regard Shivaji’s rule as the “ideal Hindu Kingdom”, who fought India’s Muslim Mughal empire and established his own kingdom near Maharashtra region.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of the project - expected to be completed by 2019.
Shivaji Maharaj was a multifaceted personality. So many aspects of his personality inspire us: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) December 24, 2016
However, the 630-foot tall statue is planned to be constructed on reclaimed land in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, a fact many Indians disapprove of.
They believe that this huge amount of money can be used to solve greater Indian problems like providing basic utilities, such as clean water, power, health care and garbage disposal.
With more than 1 in 5 people living on less than $1.90 per day in the South Asian nation, Indians believe addressing issues of food, nutrition and security should be their government’s first priority.
According to a Times of India analysis, the amount invested in the magnanimous statue is more than the budget for many of the public welfare schemes by the Mumbai government.
Several people signed an online petition to stop the government from constructing the extravagant statue. "This is tax-payers' money and I am sure we would all like this money to be spend on something better - education, infrastructure, food...anything but a statue that is of no use to anyone," the petition reads.
"This is not what Shivaji would have wanted and I am sure we can find other ways to honor him. Apart from a waste of money, this statue is going to be terrible for the environment; for the traffic situation in South Bombay and a security nightmare," it adds.
Many Indians took to Twitter to express their dismay over the government’s decision.
₹3600 crore for a Shivaji statue is the worst kind of ignorance, arrogance & disregard for public mone typical of our political parties. 1/n— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) December 25, 2016
Want to remember Shivaji?How about a great sound and light show of his life and times at Gateway of India?Better than 3600 cr statue surely!— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) December 24, 2016
Chandrayan1 Rs 380 crore— Narendra Pandey (@ProfNKPandey) December 25, 2016
Chandrayan2 Rs 425 crore
Mars Mission Rs 450 crore
Sardar Patel Statue Rs 3000 crore
Shivaji Memorial Rs 3600 crore
Question to @PMOIndia: how many farmer suicides could be prevented in Maharashtra with the 3600 crore rupees being spent on a statue?— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 25, 2016
We wont build sewage systems due to lack of funds but have 3000 Crore for Shivaji Statue #shivajistatue— Vidhi (@MissVidhi) December 27, 2016