Since the razing down of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov’s statue post bypoll election win by BJP in Tripura, statue vandalism has gripped the country. In a recent act of statue vandalism, black ink was thrown at a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru, first prime minister of the country, in Katwa, West Bengal. On receiving information, police reached the Telephone Maidan in Katwa where black ink was thrown at the statue of Nehru and it was later cleaned. This incident highlights the numerous incidents over the past fortnight when busts and statues of eminent and respected leaders were flattened or defaced.
On March 5, a statue of Russian revolutionary leader Lenin was toppled by a crowd using a JCB following which incidents of statue vandalism hit the country. On Friday, statues of Dravidian figures CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and Dravidar Kazhagam founder EV Ramasamy Naicke were found defaced and wrapped in saffron cloth in Nammakkal district. Before this, on March 8, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was found defaced in Kannur district’s Taliparamba town.
In West Bengal, two incidents of statue defacing statues have surfaced after a bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee was found vandalized in Kolkata’s Kalighat, at Keoratola Mohasoshan. The day before Syama Prasad’s statue was vandalised, BR Ambedkar’s bust in Meerut was damaged. On March 7, Periyar’s statue was vandalised in Tirupattur, Vellore after BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, H Raja, said that EV Ramasamy, commonly known as ‘Periyar’, would meet a fate similar to Lenin.
Raja hit out at Periyar in a Facebook post and wrote, “”Who is Lenin? What is his connection with India? What is the connection between Communism and India? Lenin’s statue was broken down in Tripura. Today, it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura. Tomorrow, it will be the caste zealot EV Ramasamy’s (Periyar) statue in Tamil Nadu”. Later, he deleted the post after facing a backlash from social media users and party people.