A nine-foot statue of mythical Rajput queen Padmini is likely to come up in Udaipur in three months’ time, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
The statue, along with those of eight other local historical figures, was commissioned last year, but Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has now asked for work to be expedited following the controversy over the film Padmavati, sources told the newspaper and IANS.
Rajasthan will go to polls in late 2018, and the Mewar region, which has 35 constituencies including those in Udaipur, is politically crucial.
The statue will show Padmini immolating herself for jauhar, the city’s Mayor Chandra Singh said. Jauhar was a medieval custom of Hindu women immolating themselves to avoid capture by invaders. Padmini’s jauhar is the subject of the film Padmavati, whose release has been put off following massive protests and death threats for the film crew from right-wing groups. Most historians believe Padmini was not real and is only part of folklore.
Last year, the city’s municipal corporation had planned to put up statues of nine “heroes” from Mewar at traffic intersections, each nine-foot-high and weighing 1,300 kg. Each statue would cost Rs 1 crore, Singh said.
“We want to honour Mewar’s heroes...the contract was given a year ago. But work got delayed due to a court case against the installation of the statues. Six months were wasted in the legal battle which we finally won,” Singh was quoted as saying.
The other statues being planned are of kings Rana Sanga, Rana Kumbha, Bappa Rawal, Rana Hamir and Raj Singh, freedom fighters Vijay Singh Pathik and Kesari Singh Bareth, and tribal leader Gobind Guru.