Statues of Chennai: Did you know these facts?

STATUES AND THE HIDDEN HISTORY

Statues in Chennai are known for diversity -- from poets to British administrators and revolutionaries, you can see them all Pic: Manisha

Everyday, as we go about our daily commute in Chennai, we see these statues – silent sentinels of the past, standing tall and telling us their stories. Covered in bird poop or dust and often damaged, these towering sculptures are a witness to the city’s pollution and traffic snarls, apart from its history, of course. Except on occasions relating to the personalities (such as birth anniversaries) where they are cleaned up/renovated and garlanded, these statues are largely ignored in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Statues are often the targets of vandalism, as historian Nivedita Louis rightly explained, “Statues are seen as people themselves; so when there is a controversy, they are vandalised. The recent example of destroying Periyar statue in Vellore says it all.”

How well do we know some of these statues around Chennai, that are both glorified and vilified?

Aruna Natarajan contributed to this article.

About Laasya Shekhar 286 Articles
Laasya Shekhar is an independent journalist based in Chennai with previous stints in Newslaundry, Citizen Matters and Deccan Chronicle. Laasya holds a Masters degree in Journalism from Bharathiar University and has written extensively on environmental issues, women and child rights, and other critical social and civic issues. She tweets at @plaasya.
About Aruna Natarajan 180 Articles
Aruna is an Associate Editor at Citizen Matters. She has a BA in Economics and a PG Diploma in Journalism. She has also worked in a think-tank on waste management policy and with a non-profit in sport for development. She writes on civic issues, governance, waste, commute and urban policy. She tweets at @aruna_n29.