Horses have hardly raised political warmth in a state the place they’re so uncommon, besides in sculptures of historic temples. Because the Odisha authorities plans to relocate a contemporary statue of a horse from a serious roundabout within the capital Bhubaneswar to facilitate beautification of the positioning, there may be huge hue and cry. The Opposition events have protested any relocation of the statue and the individuals of Bhubaneswar appear divided.
The sudden outpouring of feelings for this 33-year-old statue of a horse and warrior from Mastercanteen Sq. in Bhubaneswar began when the state authorities’s Division of Tradition granted final week the Bhubaneswar Sensible Metropolis Restricted’s (BSCL) want to shift it. As per plans, the massive stone statue can be shifted to Raj Bhawan Sq. in order that BSCL may start widening of the roads round Mastercanteen Sq. and construct fashionable public facilities there.
Information of the shifting plans led to protests by the Opposition – each the BJP and the Congress – because it has accused Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) authorities of disrespecting the state’s artwork and tradition. Senior Congress MLA and former minister Suresh Chandra Routray sat in protest close to the statue and vowed by no means to permit it to be relocated till he’s alive. Quickly eminent writers, sculptors, artistes and different public figures voiced their protest to the shifting plans, saying it might imply a “harm to Odisha’s heritage”.
The horse statue on the centre of controversy is a reproduction of the enduring horse and warrior sculptures seen within the Thirteenth-century Solar Temple of Konark, some 60 km off Bhubaneswar. The Odisha authorities had adopted the Konark horse and warrior because the state’s emblem in 1964. The statue seen at Mastercanteen Sq. was constructed by well-known Odisha sculptor Raghunath Panigrahi, a Padma Bibhushan awardee who handed away final month after battling with COVID-19.
It was Odisha’s Congress Chief Minister JB Patnaik, who had put this statue on the public sq. in 1988. Since then, standing because it does on a stone pedestal in entrance of Bhubaneswar railway station, this statue has turn out to be a well-liked monument and has been recognized with town of Bhubaneswar.
“There’s a plan to widen the roads at Mastercanteen Sq. and construct a multi-modal hub there together with a flyover. As soon as they’re constructed, visibility of this horse statue will probably be vastly diminished. It could turn out to be invisible. That’s the reason now we have allowed its shifting to a different sq., in order that it stays preserved,” mentioned Ranjan Das, Director of the Division of Tradition.
However these protesting the relocation plans need the statue to be the place it’s. “This statue is synonymous with town of Bhubaneswar. Why can’t the federal government construct the flyover and different infrastructure whereas letting this statue keep the place it’s? Modernisation plans should not be allowed to wreck heritage constructions in any manner,” mentioned Prafulla Rath, an eminent researcher on Jagannath tradition.
“Many eminent individuals of Odisha have been harm by plans to relocate this monument. This monument symbolises our heritage. So the Odisha authorities ought to respect the emotions of the individuals and think about beautifying the Mastercanteen Sq. with out relocating the statue,” mentioned Union petroleum and pure fuel minister Dharmendra Pradhan of BJP.
Horses have been as uncommon in Odisha’s panorama as horse buying and selling within the state’s politics. Rising public sentiment in opposition to relocation plans of the horse statue has put the state authorities in a dilemma. At the same time as political protests are gathering power, the final phrase on it’s but to come back.