That political parties fight with each other in order to lay claim to the political and cultural legacy of historical icons and build their own partisan narratives around their ideologies is not new. The Bharatiya Janata Party centered its politics around symbolism to appropriate the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and projected a politically unsound thesis to convert its own prejudices into principles disguised as the 'Statue of Unity'. Now, by laying the foundation stone for the 'Shiv Smarak', the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has seemingly conveyed a subliminal message. But the costs of statue politics go beyond their unveiling ceremonies. In his address to the Constituent Assembly, B.R. Ambedkar cautioned against following the path of devotion or hero-worship, regardless of how great or tall the leader is. It is high time the BJP must stop this political stunt before the civic elections and stop spending huge amount of Rs 3,600 crore on Shivaji statue and utilize the amount for the welfare of the people particularly farmers and poor people.
— Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai