A man-made island of 130,000 sqm will be created in the Arabian Sea 1.5 km from 
the Bombay coastline to erect a statue of Shivaji, a Maratha king who 
successfully led a rebellion against the Mughal Empire in the Deccan about 350 
years ago, before being defeated by the British who possessed superior arms and 
war technology at the time.

This statue and its complex is estimated to cost initially about Rs 4,000 
crores or USD 626 million and when completed will be the tallest statue in the 

This comes at a time when thousands of hardy farmers have been committing 
suicide in the Vidarbha region, the heart of the state, out of desperation 
arising from poverty and indebtedness due to a series of crop failures over the 

Not the first example of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

Roland Francis

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