Some students allegedly caused a ruckus saying the bust resembled the British actor who played Gandhi in the 1982 biopic.
The management of a government college in Rewa has ordered replacement of the bust of Mahatma Gandhi on its campus after a group of students raised the objection that it resembled Ben Kingsley and not the ‘Father of the Nation’.
The metal bust was unveiled at the Government Model Science College on the occasion of the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Thursday. Some students allegedly caused a ruckus saying the bust resembled the British actor who played Gandhi in the 1982 biopic. The police had to be called to pacify the students, who insisted it amounted to insulting the freedom fighter.
College Principal Pankaj Shrivastava told The Indian Express that a committee examined the bust and found some merit in the objection. “The face is slightly longer, it should have been circular,”’ he quoted the committee member as saying.
The state government had asked colleges to install Gandhi’s bust. Accordingly, bids were invited and the successful bidder sourced the bust from Varanasi. Each bust costs around Rs 1.44 lakh. The principal said similar busts were installed in two other government colleges but no objections were raised there.
He said, “It’s not possible to have a bust that matches Gandhi’s expression exactly. Kingsley looked and acted like Gandhi. For Swachh Abhiyan, only the outline of the spectacle is used and yet people know it’s Gandhi. Two different sculptors will make different busts. People make a mountain out of a molehill, but we decided to change it because they objected.” He said it would take just a few days to replace the bust.
“The bidder will have to bear the cost of replacement. We ordered Gandhi’s bust, but if some people say it does not resemble him we will change it, but the pillar on which it stands will remain the same,” he said.
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