As many as 136 citizens, many of them prominent academics, journalists, lawyers and activists, have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, suggesting that hologram statues of various national leaders be rotated at the India Gate.
The letter comes in the aftermath of the Union government announcing on January 21, its plan to install a granite statue of iconic freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the location.
Till the granite statue is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter. He unveiled the hologram statue on January 23, the 125th birth anniversary of the Azad Hind Fauj founder.
Many, including The Wire’s Vasudevan Mukunth have questioned the motive behind the move, noting that it is not as if “Bose’s statue doesn’t already exist in Delhi (at a fitting location, that too) – though a section of the media has tried to falsely suggest this will be the first time Netaji is going to be honoured with his likeness in the national capital.”
“Honouring national figures at India Gate is an excellent idea. However, we would like to suggest that instead of a permanent statue, holograms of different national leaders be represented there, rotating periodically every few months. In this way, we would be able to honour many national leaders in the heart of the national capital,” the signatories to the letter suggest.
Such a measure would help promote “greater unity and amity” throughout India and help honour important leaders, keeping their legacies alive, the letter says.
“People from across our diverse country would welcome this honour being conferred on iconic leaders (both women and men) from their states. It would keep alive the memory of many of our great nation’s heroes. Children visiting the site would also learn about them,” the letter notes.
The writers end the short letter expressing hope that the Union government seriously consider the suggestion, which they add is made in “positive and constructive spirit.”
Among 136 signatories are academics Bina Agarwal, Devaki Jain, Satish Deshpande, Santosh Mehrotra, Achin Vanaik, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, and Neera Chandhoke; writers Gurcharan Das, Nandita Haksar and Rohini Hensman; journalists Patricia Mukhim, Sujata Madhok, Rita Anand, Pamela Philipose, John Dayal and Sagarika Ghosh; advocates Flavia Agnes, Vrinda Grover and Dushyant Arora, and several others from various professions and walks of life.