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The controversy surrounding the distorted statue of former Chief Minister of Odisha and noted freedom fighter, Nabakrushna Choudhury continues to escalate with each passing day.
After the tall leader’s statue in shirt and trousers triggered a massive outrage across the State, now the usual ‘dhoti-kurta’ makeover to the sculpture installed at Gopabandhu Park in Angul district on the occasion of Utkal Dibasa has again added fuel to the fire.
Meanwhile, the Angul municipality authorities locked the main gate of the park and made all efforts to give a proper shape to the statue after locals alleged the ‘dhoti’ looks like a ‘lehnga’
Besides, a lawyer has also lodged a complaint in this regard at Angul police station demanding necessary action.
“In my FIR, I have mentioned that it is an insult to me, my district and residents of Odisha. Besides, I have demanded an investigation into the matter and stringent action against the people involved in it,” said Ranjan Patra, a lawyer.
Echoing the same opinion, Biswa Ranjan Patnaik, an intellectual said, “First the statue was installed with shirt and trousers and now the makeover does not look good. We would like to request the district administration to give the much-desired respect to the tall leader.”
“The blunder would have been averted had there been cooperation between the administration and locals. Ideas and suggestions should have been invited before giving shape to the statue,” said Pratap Mohapatra, a social worker.
Notably, the freedom fighter, who was immensely inspired by the principles of Gandhi and used to live a simple life, was never seen in a shirt and trousers as he used to wear ‘Dhoti and Kurta’.
However, the statue which portrays Choudhury in a pair of shirt and trousers had drawn sharp resentment from different sections of society. Even the freedom fighter’s daughter Krishna Mohanty had demanded the replacement of the statue.
“…From the look of the statue, it is hard to recognise him (Nabakrushna Choudhury). From the reactions that emerged, the administration must have realised the mistake. The statue must be replaced," Mohanty had said.
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