The trend started soon after the BJP swept the Tripura assembly polls last weekend unseating the Left which had been power for the last 25 years. A JCB machine was used to dismantle a statue of Lenin installed by the Left Front in Tripura.
Two days later, ultra Left activists damaged and blackened the statue of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, one of the founders of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in Kolkata. A statue of Dravid movement leader Periyar was damaged in Tamil Nadu, while a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar, the noted Dalit leader who piloted the Indian Constitution, was vandalized in Meerut, UP.
Whether the statues are of Lenin, or of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, or Dr Ambedkar or Periyar Ramaswamy Naicker, nobody has the right to vandalize statues in a humane society, nor is this a part of our great democratic traditions. It is heartening to note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi quickly took note of this and the Centre sent out advisories to all states to prevent such incidents. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took a hard stand. These statues belonged to great leaders of a bygone era, but one should learn from Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav how not to indulge in politics over statues.
When BSP supremo Mayawati lost the assembly elections in UP six years back, one expected the Samajwati Party to dismantle the statues of Mayawati. But the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav protected the statues of his political rival. During last month's Business Summit in Lucknow, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered that these statues should be polished.
Those who vandalize statues fail to realize that by indulging in such actions, they give a handle to those who are trying to divide society.
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