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Monday, September 29, 2014

felling of statue (Lenin) at Kharkiv, in Ukraine...

If statues are symbols – felling them are symbolisms !!!.... ‘Ozymandias’  is a sonnet written by the  PB Shelly. Kharkiv is the second-largest city of Ukraine.  The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv was the first city in Ukraine to acknowledge Soviet power in December 1917 and became the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic until January 1935, after which the capital was relocated to Kiev.  It is in news …. !!

Lenin (1870-1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death. Lenin, along with Leon Trotsky, played a senior role in orchestrating the October Revolution in 1917, which led to the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.  Under his administration, the Russian Empire was replaced by the Soviet Union; all wealth including land, industry and business was nationalized. Based in Marxism, his political theories are known as Leninism. 

After his death, there was a struggle for power in the Soviet Union between two major factions, namely Stalin's and theLeft Opposition (with Trotsky as de facto leader). Eventually, Stalin, whom Lenin distrusted and wanted removed,  came to power and eliminated any opposition. In the Soviet Union, many cities had statues and monuments of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.  With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, many of them were broken with no permission from their authors.

Now comes the news that Ukraine nationalists tear down Kharkiv's Lenin statue – the renewed felling reportedly occurred with huge cheers from the crowd as the statue came thudding down.  Reports suggest that Ukrainian nationalists tore down a statue of Lenin in the centre of Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, in a move supported by officials. Pro-Russian demonstrators in the largely Russian-speaking city defended the statue in February, when President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. Kharkiv escaped the violent unrest which swept through east Ukraine's other regions, Donetsk and Luhansk. A fragile ceasefire has been in place for weeks between pro-Russian separatists in those two regions.

News reports suggest that on Sunday night, when nationalist protesters had already gathered around the statue for a "Kharkiv is Ukraine" rally, the governor of Kharkiv region, Ihor Baluta, signed an order to dismantle the statue. Some correspondents say the order was probably a last-minute face-saving move.  Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is quoted as stating on his FB wall - that he had given orders for police to ensure only the safety of people, "not the idol".

The so-called ‘Fall of Lenin’ – the Ukrainian movement of toppling statues of the Soviet-era totalitarian leader by strong-willed citizens – began in Kyiv last winter, on December 8th, when Euro-Maidan protesters took down the statue of Lenin near the Bessarabska district. Soon after, over 150 monuments throughout Ukraine were felled by Ukrainians to show that they are eager to part with Soviet symbols and demonstrate their pro-democratic and pro-European outlook. Putin’s imperial ambitions, and the threat of restoring a Soviet-style state, prompted Ukrainian activists to declare a definite “no” to the suggestion of slipping back into Russia’s control.

Ozymandias  is a sonnet written by the English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  In antiquity, Ozymandias was an alternative name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II.  The 7.25-ton fragment of the statue's head and torso had been removed in 1816 from the mortuary temple of Ramesses at Thebes by the Italian adventurer Giovanni Battista Belzoni.  Shelley wrote the poem in friendly competition with his friend and fellow poet Horace Smith who also wrote a sonnet on the topic. Both poems explore the fate of history and the ravages of time—that all prominent men and the empires they build are impermanent and their legacies fated to decay and oblivion. Away, the  destruction of the Firdos Square statue (of Saddam Hussein) was an event in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and marked the symbolic end of the Battle of Baghdad.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

29th Sept. 2014.

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