Indian politician called out for larger-than-life statues

Kumari Mayawati, India’s “dalit queen,” has been called upon by the country’s Supreme Court to rationalize the spending of an estimated $425 million in government funds. The public money has financed the construction of statues of herself and other influential members of the dalit or “untouchable” caste, the largest of which have spanned up to 130 acres. According ...

584283_090629_mayawati2.jpg
584283_090629_mayawati2.jpg
New Delhi, INDIA: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati (2-L) attends a prayer in front of statues of herself (top L), Bhimrao Ambedkar (C), Kanshi Ram (R) during a a ceremony to congratulate her in New Delhi, 25 May 2007. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, visiting the national capital for two days is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 May. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Kumari Mayawati, India's "dalit queen," has been called upon by the country's Supreme Court to rationalize the spending of an estimated $425 million in government funds. The public money has financed the construction of statues of herself and other influential members of the dalit or "untouchable" caste, the largest of which have spanned up to 130 acres. According to the Financial Times, Mayawati, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has justified the statues as "part of the 'politics of dignity' intended to inspire self-confidence within India's most down-trodden community." Opponents argue:

This is public money "which should be used for the public welfare", Ravi Kant, a lawyer and one of the two petitioners, told journalists.

Kumari Mayawati, India’s “dalit queen,” has been called upon by the country’s Supreme Court to rationalize the spending of an estimated $425 million in government funds. The public money has financed the construction of statues of herself and other influential members of the dalit or “untouchable” caste, the largest of which have spanned up to 130 acres. According to the Financial Times, Mayawati, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has justified the statues as “part of the ‘politics of dignity’ intended to inspire self-confidence within India’s most down-trodden community.” Opponents argue:

This is public money “which should be used for the public welfare”, Ravi Kant, a lawyer and one of the two petitioners, told journalists.

Uttar Pradesh is one of India’s poorest states, with some of its highest rates of infant and maternal mortality. The attorney said the state government should have spent the money on emancipation of child labourers or boosting healthcare.”

Mayawati receives much criticism for having spent the majority of her political career going after the premiership rather than improving the destitute state. The Bahujan Samaj Party leader was named the 59th most powerful woman by Forbes magazine in 2008.

As another shorter gal, I can understand the desire to exaggerate size for power. After her party secured only a quarter of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 parliamentary seats this year, however, even Mayawati must be forced to rethink the efficacy of such blatant and aggressive propagandizing.

Tag: India

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