Source: The Guardian
BY Michael Safi South Asia correspondent
The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh says it will build the world’s tallest statue, weeks after the current record holder – an 182-metre likeness of founding father Sardar Patel – was completed in another part of the country.
If constructed, the 221m-high effigy of the Hindu god Ram in the town of Ayodhya could make India home to the world’s three tallest statues, with a 212-metre likeness of the medieval ruler Shivaji also currently under construction off the coast of Mumbai.
Plans for the bronze Ram statue were unveiled over the weekend, with five construction firms giving presentations to the the state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu monk accused of instigating violence against’s the state’s Muslim minority.
Ayodhya has been considered a crucible for the Hindu nationalist movement since 1992, when thousands of adherents stormed a Mughal-era mosque in the town and demolished it, believing it was built at the site where Ram was born, and where an ancient Hindu temple had been torn down by earlier Muslim rulers.