India today unveiled the world’s tallest statue in the western state of Gujurat in celebration of her unity.
About 182 metres high, the Statue of Unity is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a hero of India’s freedom struggle and the country’s first deputy prime minister. Patel, a Gujarati, was known as the ‘Iron man of India’ as he went about persuading all the princely states to join the Indian union after independence from British rule in 1947.
Prime minister Narendra Modi, who also hails from Gujarat, dedicated Patel’s statue to the people of India on the 142th birth anniversary of the statesman’s birth.
“To build this statue, (hundreds of thousands) of farmers from all over India came together to donate their tools, portions of their soil and a mass movement developed around the statue,” Modi said in his speech.