Vijaywada- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy unveiled the world’s tallest Ambedkar Statue in Vijayawada district on Friday January 19. The "Statue of Social Justice" - is what the Govt has decided to call it.
The significance of this moment was heightened as the inauguration coincided with an unfortunate incident in the Basti district of Uttar Pradesh, where a statue of the father of the Indian constitution was desecrated. The statue unveiling ceremony served as a powerful message — that despite the reprehensible attacks on his statues, Ambedkar's stature will only continue to rise.
The statue, standing at 206 feet from the ground, includes an 81-feet pedestal and a 125-feet idol of Ambedkar. It is located in Swaraj Maidan, covering an area of 18.81 acres and built at a cost of 404.35 crores. The statue is made with 400 tonnes of steel. The venue where the massive statue of the architect of the Constitution has come up, also has facilities such as an experience centre, a 2,000-capacity convention centre, a food court, children’s play area, waterbodies, musical fountain, and walkways
Addressing an impressive gathering at the venue, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said, “This statue is a standing testimony to the social justice followed by our government in these 56 months. It represents a social reformer and an immortal leader who changed thousands of years of Indian social history, economic history, and women's history.”
Among those present at the event were Housing Minister J. Ramesh, Chief Secretary Dr. KS Jawahar Reddy, APHC chairman Sharmila Reddy, MD Lakshmi Shah, and Special CS (Housing) Ajay Jain.
The inauguration of the statue coincided with the day when a statue of the father of the Indian constitution was desecrated in the Basti district of Uttar Pradesh. This serves as a message that Ambedkar's legacy will continue to grow, notwithstanding the attacks on his statues.
Notably, the neighboring state of Telangana had the tallest Ambedkar statue until now, standing at 125 feet. The statue was inaugurated on April 14, 2023, on the occasion of the 132nd anniversary of Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The tallest Ambedkar Statue outside India was inaugurated on October 14th in Maryland, a suburb of Washington, in the United States of America. However, a significant moment was the fulfillment of the long-standing demand for an Ambedkar Statue at the Supreme Court, which was inaugurated by President Draupadi Murmu on November 26, 2023, Constitution Day.
However, ahead of the inauguration of the statue, a political slugfest started between Y.S.R Congress and Telugu Desham Party, with the latter's supporters claiming that Chandra Babu Naidu, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, had allotted a sum of 100 crores for the project during his tenure.
Former Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu had laid the foundation stone for the 100 crore Ambedkar Park in the state capital Amaravati in 2017; however, the project remained in limbo during his tenure. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy announced the project in 2021 and started the work in December 2021. Jagan Mohan chose Vijayawada for the grandiose project, naming the statue the Statue of Social Justice. He remarked that, just as the Statue of Liberty comes to mind when one thinks of the US, henceforth, the name of the Statue of Social Justice will remind the people of Vijayawada.
Vijayawada is the second-largest city in Andhra Pradesh, situated on the banks of the River Krishna.