Mallika Sarabhai floats the idea of ‘referendum’ to pay real tribute to Sardar Patel
Floating perhaps first of its kind of ‘referendum’ idea inviting entries from people of Gujarat danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has triggered another storm for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi has recently approved Rs 2,500 crore to build world’s tallest (182-metres) statue of Sardar Patel. The statue to be called “Statue of Unity” cannot be the right kind of tribute for the Iron Man according to Mallika Sarabhai.
Fearless and a bold communicator Mallika at this point commented at the plight of a statue of Sardar at a nearby place in the city which shrunk to a small size over the years and is today under dust and wrath of pollution. Who is gaining out of it, she asked.
“The newspapers recently reported that chief minister of Gujarat has generously allocated Rs 2,500 crore to commemorate Sardar Vallabbhai Patel. If Sardar Patel were here today, he would have wished for all Gujaratis to decide on how best to use this huge sum of money,” Sarabhai said.
“I am therefore inviting all Gujarat dwellers to think of how this generous amount can best be utilised for the benefit of all Gujaratis, especially the poor, hungry and weak,” Sarabhai said.
Mallika said “this huge money comes from the taxes we pay, you and me. So why should, we, the people not have our say. Through media I appeal all the people living in Gujarat to participate in the contest in large number and suggest some people friendly schemes and ideas to a tune of the enormous money allocated by the Chief Minister (Rs. 2500 crores)”.
Sarabhai, a known critic of Modi added ‘‘I am a great admirer and fan of Sardar Patel; I know very well that he stood for ‘lokhit’ peoples’ interest and democratic ways of governance.”
At a press conference called to announce this novel idea was held on Saturday at Darpana Academy, where, the daughter of legendary Dr Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika appealed to the people of Gujarat through the media “let’s make this movement another Bardoli where we pay our tributes to the ‘Iron Man of India’ and reincarnate him through action benefitting common people, the poorest and weakest among us”.
www.facebook.com/celebratingsardarpatel is the facebook page floated by Mallika. Contestants can click and contribute their idea/s in one or multiple entries or can even post or hand deliver them at her workplace ‘Darpana Academy’ situated at Usmanpura area of Ahmedabad. Last date for the entries is 1st October midnight.
Mallika has announced her own contribution of Rs. One lakh which can well be further added with peoples’ donations.
Large number of colleges and institutions will also be contacted to moot the idea.
National jury comprising of three eminent professionals from development, economics and sociology background would judge the entries. They will screen the five best entries. This will be announced and made public through media, social sites and other possible means, after which people’s choice will be sought for the best three and thus the winner will be selected.
Explaining this novel idea Mallika emphasized that she was sure that there would be huge number of original suggestions coming out from the people of Gujarat under this contest. Giving an example of one of the suggestion from her side she said, “there are 18,000 villages in Gujarat one community solar water purifier for each village under a scheme ‘Sardar Patel Saaf paani Yojna’ can be floated using this money”.