22 June 2011

Maya's capital

Every where you go in Lucknow - whether your in the old city or in the new - you will see images of the defacto queen of the land : Mayawati

She is the chief minister of the State of Uttar Pradesh and is considered one of the most powerful women in India.

In her fourth tenure as a Chief Minister that started in 2007, Mayawati has undertaken a massive public building project that has changed the face of this historic city.

She has spent millions of rupees on five public park projects and memorials like the massive B R Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal (Pictured below).

This park is really massive and is clad in tonnes and tonnes of stone.

The above photo shows the the main entrance to the memorial guarded by statues of 62 almost live-size stone elephants either side of the way.

She is notorious for erecting 100s of statues of Buddhist and Dalit (a group of people traditionally regarded as "untouchable") icons like Gautam Buddha, Ravidas, Narayana Guru, Jyotirao Phule, Shahuji Maharaj, Periyar Ramasami, Bhimrao Ambedkar, BSP founder Kanshi Ram, and of herself. 

She claims that the expenditure on statues and symbols of Dalit Icons was required because the past governments did not show respect towards Dalit icons, in whose memory nothing was ever built.

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