‘Statue of Unity’ and tribals don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. As Sardar Patel’s statue got unveiled today, 16 tribal activists were arrested by Gujarat Police. These activists were protesting against the statue because many tribals and farmers got displaced because of it. They were detained in Kevadia, Rajpipla, Dediapada talukas.
Activists had planned to hold protest during inauguration of world’s tallest statue dedicated to Sardar Patel with height of 182 meters. State government has been claiming that ‘Statue of Unity’ project would generate jobs for tribals in the region. According to them, it would attract large number of tourists.
However, this Rs. 3000 crore project has instead displaced many tribals and farmers of the region. Some even claim that they have not been relocated. Many activists like Medha Patkar and Chhotubhai Vasava have been protesting against the move.
“We just want to ask how tribals could benefit from the Statue of Unity. The government should come out with clear picture.” Chhotubhai Vasava asked according to the Indian Express report.
Earlier, Chhotubhai Vasava had uploaded documents signed by more than 10 village Sarpanchs on Facebook. These documents contained statements of Sarpanchs who don’t want PM Modi to come on dam on 31st October.
Tribals are protesting because they used to ‘own’ that land. There is lack of facilities for them, and so-called ‘statue development’ won’t earn them anything. And now their stakes don’t matter just because ‘Statue of Unity’ has failed to link them with the chosen government.