Search This Blog

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sivaji statue in middle of Beach Road may have to go !!!!

I have posted on this earlier too……. the culture of statues has a long history and is not new to Tamilnadu alone – and there have been some clashes arising out of issues involving statues, it is another colonial vestige.  At important road junctions, at landmark buildings – we have statues of leaders and others lying uncared for in a state of neglect.  There are statues in a row in the Marina beach with bird droppings and dirty looks.  In the northern State, one CM went berserk installing statues of party symbol and self and the opposition leader appealed to the Centre not to release funds to State fearing that they would create more statues.

A few years ago in 2006 eight foot bronzestatue for Villupuram Chinnaiah pillai Ganesan Manrayar [you know him better as Sivaji Ganesan] was installed in the middle of the beach  road …….. a freedom fighter objected the positioning stating that it would obstruct the view of the Gandhi statue and filed a PIL.  The Bench of Madras High Court which heard the case advised not to put up.  The statue was installed and for some  months gun-totting police stood vigil in Sun.

A couple of years ago, the Madras High Court ordered shifting away of the Sivaji statue from its present place.  ~ there are so many of them dotting the Marina beach – of  Poets : Kambar, Ilango, Avvaiyar, Thiruvalluvar, Bharathiyar, Barathidasan stand amidst Kannagi, Gandhiji, Kamarajar, NethajiSubashChandrabose, Annie Besant, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Sivananda, Robert Caldwell, GU Pope, Tamil thathaSaminathaIyer  as also the one of ‘triumph of Labour’ – and perhaps alongside Sivaji should not be objectionable in any manner. 

The objection for the statue stated that at its present place, the statue obstruction of motorists waiting to turn in to RadhakrishnanSalai from KamarajarSalai [beach road].  

In 2013 Nov, the Bench directed the jurisdictional assistant commissioner of police (Traffic) to file an affidavit in this regard.  On behalf of  the police, ti was  submitted that  because of the statue, visibility of motorists who intended to take a right turn on to Radhakrishnan Salai from KamarajarSalai was affected. The affidavit stated that because of obstruction of visibility due to the statue, several accidents had taken place at the junction. It added that if the statue was removed, motorists on KamarajarSalai would get more space to take a right turn at the junction. The statue may be shifted to the Marina beachfront where there were other statues, the police said.

Today’s TOI reports that Sivaji statue near Marina may go !  …..about an year and half after the Madras high court ruled that  statue of actor SivajiGanesan on KamarajarSalai near Marina beach should be relocated on road safety considerations, the threat of removal returned on Wednesday when the court asked the Tamil Nadu government to specify its stand on the issue.On January 23, 2014, a bench of Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice K KSasidharan directed the authorities “to take a decision regarding removal of the statue as expeditiously as possible“ on a PIL filed by P N Srinivasan, a freedom fighter.

After Srinivasan's death, his son P Nagarajan continued the PIL proceedings, and on Wednesday a contempt of court petition filed by him came up before the same division bench. Pointing out that the statue had been allowed to remain at the same place despite the judicial ruling, Nagarajan wanted the authorities concerned to be punished for wilful disobedience of court orders.

The judges, however, gave two weeks for the government pleader to get instructions on the matter, and asked him to file an affidavit before August 19.The statue was unveiled by the then CM  MKarunanidhi on July 21, 2006, braving litigation and objections.On January 23, 2014, the high court relied on a damning report by the state government and traffic police and said: “The court finds that there are materials to show that the statue obstructs traffic as it is located on a public road which is meant for regular vehicular traffic.“

In his contempt petition, Nagarajan had said that the authorities were not taking any decision on removal of the statue despite the observations of the court in its order which, according to him, “amounts to willful disobedience of the order of the court, warranting punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act.“

For the younger generation and outsiders -   a versatile actor SivajiGanesan [1928-2001]was  popularly known as NadigarThilagam.  He really rose from the ranks, from a stage artist to one of National acclaim – in a career spanning close to five decades he acted in nearly 300 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. Ganesan was the first Indian film actor to win a "Best Actor" award in an International film festival, the Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt in 1960. Most heroes would state that they were influenced by Sivaji and most of them would have spoken the dialogue of VeeraPandiaKattabomman to get recognition of directors.   He was also awarded  Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

6th Aug 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment