No more new statues in Tamil Nadu, shift existing ones to special parks, says Madras high court | Chennai News – Times of India

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Thursday directed the state government to remove all statues of leaders installed on roads and other public places within six months and create a ‘Leaders Park’ to relocate them.
Justice S M Subramaniam ordered the government not to give permission henceforth for putting up structures or statues in highways, public places, and poromboke land parcels, and directed the state to frame guidelines for erecting statues.
The court also ordered the government to create ‘leaders’ park’ at several places across the state. Only statues erected with proper permission must be relocated and maintained at the park and the cost of maintaining the statues must be recovered from those who had erected them, the court said.
The judge was passing the order on a plea moved by M Veeraraghavan challenging the notice issued by tahsildar of Arakonam taluk to remove an Ambedkar statue erected on a meikal poramboke without permission.
Refusing to entertain the plea, Justice Subramaniam said: “Erection of statues is made at the whims and fancies of political parties, communal, religious, linguistic, regional and sectional groups in various forms.” No doubt, they are entitled to celebrate the glory of those leaders. But, while erecting a statue in a public place, regulation is of paramount importance as ideas, ideologies and practices may differ from one group to another group, the judge said.
“Unity in diversity is the Constitution’s principle and the glory of our great nation. This being the constitutional mandate, equality, non-discrimination, regulation are of constitutional importance to preserve the unity in diversity principle and to march towards the vibrant democracy,” the court added.


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