GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - Several prominent citizens here have urged the State Government not to replace the existing statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Gandhi Mandap atop the Sarania hillock with a new statue.
In a letter drafted by the Heritage Conservation Society of Assam, the citizens, who signed the letter, termed as shocking the media report that a meeting chaired by Kamrup (Metro) DC Dr M Angamuthu on August 7 decided that the existing statue of the Mahatma should be replaced.
The reason cited by the participants of the meeting was that the existing statue has �distorted� the physical image of the Mahatma. The existing statue was sculpted by legendary sculptor late Ramkinkor Baij following a special request from the Assam Government on Gandhi�s birth centenary.
It was sculpted on the basis of the Mahatma�s historic march to Noakhali, which was undertaken in 1947 to pacify communal passions. Noted sculptors late Atul Barua and Janak Jhankar Narzary were witnesses to this creation of Baij. This sculpture is considered one of the ten best creations of Baij, said the leading citizens in their letter to the Chief Minister.
The signatories to the letter include noted poet and art critic Nilamoni Phukan, noted artists Nilpawan Baruah, Benu Mishra, Nani Barpujari, Madhusudan Das, Dr Jabeen Ghosh Dastidar, Sonaram Nath, Champak Barbara, senior journalists DN Chakravartty, Shashi Phukan, Munin Bayan and RD Choudhury and art-critic and filmmaker Manik Bora.