Netaji’s Statue At India Gate To Reflect His Spirit & Aura, Odisha Sculptor Adwaita Gadanayak Elaborates The Process

Bhubaneswar: The mould of one of the greatest revolutionary leaders, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, took shape during his formative years in Cuttack city when the seeds of nationalism were sown in the adolescent mind. He was born on January 23, 1897, at Janakinath Bhavan at Odia Bazaar in the city.

The hands that will sculpt his grand granite statue to be installed at the ‘Empty Canopy’ at India Gate, will also be that of an Odia. Eminent sculptor Adwaita Gadanayak, Director-General of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) under the Ministry of Culture, is the chosen one.

Speaking to Odisha Bytes, Gadanayak said that he will soon be travelling to Cuttack to study the archives at Netaji Museum there. “This is the most important study and unfortunately, we do not have many elements to draw from. But this is an important aspect to get things right, like his boots and clothes he wore, while sculpting the statute,” he said.

Research teams are archiving those, he said, adding that it will take around 10-15 days.

The noted sculptor said he is having dreams and can relate it to the storyline of how the idols of the sibling deities of Jagannath temple in Puri were made. “I consider this as a blessing from Lord Jagannath. The Muguni Pathara (black granite) represents the Kaalia, Krushna Kala and Maa Kaali. It carries the energy of these deities and being an extremely hard stone is apt for representing a character as strong as Netaji,” he said while talking about the choice of stone for the 28-feet-high statute.

Gadanayak said that these stones will be procured from south India and teams are already there conducting surveys. “We are looking for jet black granite without any spots. The teams are visiting Kamaraj Nagar near Mysore, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana,” he said, adding that granite for National Police Memorial, which he created in New Delhi in 2018, was brought from Telangana.

Known for creating larger-than-life sculptures both in India and abroad, he has worked with black granite throughout his career.

He, however, said that creating a sculpture of Subhash Chandra Bose will be a difficult task, as it has to embody his soul, spirit and reflect his aura. “There will be tension in the beginning but slowly, it will take shape and a time will come when it will converge with the imagination. That needs a lot of dedication and time,” said this alumnus of BK College of Arts and Crafts, Bhubaneswar.

While a six-feet-high model of Netaji’s sculpture was sent to the Prime Minister for his approval, a fibre model will also be readied to understand the installation process and the right look. “We are also studying the statue of George V which once stood there,” he said.

The native of Dhenkanal said this is a huge responsibility and every second till the next six months would count as it is a difficult medium and a time-taking process. “The statue will be prepared using both traditional and modern (CNC sculpting) tools,” he added.

Till then, a hologram statue would be present at the place identified for the granite statue.

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