Associated with much hype and hoopla the completion of 1000 years
of coronation of Raja Bhoj, a king of the Parmar dynasty, was
marked by the unveiling of 32 feet high gigantic statue of the
ruler along the embankment of the Upper Lake, the lifeline of
Bhopal, in the morning here. Later, a high voltage cultural
programme was held at the Lal Parade police ground in the evening
on Monday to mark the occasion.
Former Union Minister and Member of Rajya Sabha Mr. Venkaiah Naidu,
who is a veteran Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), leader and being
past president of the party, was the chief guest at the unveiling
function. The BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj
Singh Chouhan presided over the function. While in the evening BJP
national president Mr. Nitin Gadkari was the chief guest and Mr.
Chouhan presided over the cultural function.
Mr. Naidu pressed the button to unveil the statue of Raja Bhoj.
After unveiling the statue, Jawans of the Madhya Pradesh Police
accorded 21-gun royal salute to Raja Bhoj. Colorful balloons were
set off with the tune of police band to mark the occasion. On this
occasion, 21 Pandits recited 'Swasti-Vachan' with Madhya Pradesh
Thus, Raja Bhoj Enthronement Millennium Year celebrations got
underway here with a bang with whole of Bhopal dressed like a
bride. The illumination of rotaries and some government buildings
gave a festive look to the city. There was half day holiday
announced in the government offices for the employees to join the
celebrations in the evening. The Madhya Pradesh Government had got
printed two lakh invitation cards and distributed to every Tom,
Dick and Harry for the cultural evening to be a grand success with
Meanwhile, a few words about the statue. The sculptor of the
statue is Mr. Prabhat Rai of Gwalior. The 32-feet high statue
which weighs seven tonnes is made up of gunmetal and bell metal
and has incurred a cost of Rs. 27 lakhs. It took two months time
to manufacture the statue. Its base is 12 feet and was installed
on 10 feet high “Burj” (bastion) in the Upper Lake.
While it was officially stated that the expenditure on the
celebrations was Rs. four crore whereas sources claim that it is
much more running into several crores. The Opposition parties on
the other hand were critical of the Madhya Pradesh Government for
spending crores of rupees at a time when farmers were committing
suicide over damage to crops due to frost.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chouhan speaking at the unveiling
ceremony described the unveiling of statue of Raja Bhoj as
fulfillment of a resolution. He said that Raja Bhoj is an ideal
and inspiring figure for him.
Mr. Chouhan said that Raja Bhoj was an intellectual, believer of
justice, art lover, musician and good administrator. He said that
Raja Bhoj was not only a good administrator but also an upholder
of communal and religious harmony. He said that Raja Bhoj was the
first who initiated for water conservation and urban development
in India and perhaps in the world. Raja Bhoj had developed the
nation as a country of culture. The Chief Minister announced to
rename the V.I.P. Road as Raja Bhoj Road.
He said he was pained to see Vagdevi idol in British museum.
Efforts will be made to bring back the statue of 'Vagdevi'--a
goddess of Raja Bhoj--from London, he asserted.
Similarly, he said:”When I see Kohinoor diamond in London museum I
want to bring it back to India like Hanumanji. But in a democracy
this cannot be done. Hence, it would be considered as how to get
back the diamond”.
The Chief Minister said that action plan for the development and
conservation of Raja Bhoj lake would be given final touch in this
week. The Upper Lake will be developed into an attractive
destination not only for the people of country but also abroad.
Galleries will be developed along the embankment of Upper Lake
depicting history and culture.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government is celebrating
Raja Bhoj Enthronement Millennium year to recollect the history of
Raja Bhoj. He hoped that Madhya Pradesh would become a developed
state, drawing inspirations from the ideals of Raja Bhoj.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said that no country
could develop by overlooking its history. He underlined the need
for mandatory inclusion of history in syllabi of academic
institutions. He said that Raja Bhoj is an asset of not only state
but also of entire nation.
Describing Raja Bhoj as synonym of good governance, Mr. Naidu said
that it should be an agenda of democratic states and the nation as
well. To ensure a good governance and education to each and every
person will be a befitting tribute to Raja Bhoj, he said. He
concurred with the Chief Minister to bring back the Vagdevi idol
from Britain. If Madhya Pradesh Government forwarded any proposal
he would try to get it ratified by the Parliament. He appreciated
the State Government for installing statue of Raja Bhoj and
observing Enthronement Millennium Year.
Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Harvansh Singh said
that Raja Bhoj was an upholder of culture, arts, science and
religion. Installation of statue will be an inspiring figure for
the people, he said.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, (MPTDC), chairman
Dhruvnarayan Singh, who is also MLA from Bhopal Central, said that
the installation of statue would uphold the traditional values and
promote knowledge. He wished Madhya Pradesh for a developed state
and prosperity among its citizens. He also demanded rechristening
of Bhopal as Bhojpal.
Chief Minister Chouhan felicitated statue carving artist Prabhat
Rai with shawl and coconut. A folder of Tourism Development
Corporation 'Bhojdharshan-Janiye Raja Bhoj Ko' on the life of Raja
Bhoj was released on the occasion.
At the outset, MPTDC chairman Dhruvnarayan Singh and Managing
Director Hariranjan Rao welcomed the guests and sport them
traditional colourful headgears.
On the eve of the statue unveiling ceremony Madhya Pradesh Urban
development Minister Mr. Babula Gaur expressed his views while
releasing a souvenir “Swabhiman” published by Raja Bhoj
Panwar-Parmar Samaj at his residence on Sunday. The minister said
that as per evidences, Raja Bhoj had constructed a Shiv temple on
the bank of old pond at Bhojpur one thousand years ago. He had
taken a cue from Somnath temple to build it at Bhojpur. The pond
was known as Bhojpal pond in the history. It was also Raja Bhoj
who founded Bhopal. Later, it was called Bhu-Pal and lastly it is
known as Bhopal.
Gaur said that after Raja Bhoj, Bhopal was developed by Gond king
Nizam Shah, Rani Kamalapati, Sardar Dost Mohemmad Khan and Begums
and Nawabs of Khan's generation.
It may be mentioned here that the Madhya Pradesh State Government
has dedicated 2011 to Raja Bhoj millennium year. The State
Government calendar this year is also dedicated to Raja Bhoj which
contains photographs of inscriptions and temples erected by Raja
Bhoj in various parts of the State.
The victories of Raja Bhoj in wars
and his cultural activities have been illustrated through
photographs. The photographs of rising sun at the Upper Lake in
Bhopal, 'Shivlinga' of Bhojpur, Bhojshala at Dhar, Vagdevi statue
(presently in British museum of London), Saraswati temple at Dhar
(Bhojshala), Nadi Devi and Shivgan carved in Shiva temple at
Bhojpur, dam at the Betwa river near Bhojpur, Shiva temple at
Bhojpur, Raja Bhoj coiled snake symbols, 'Jain Tirthkar' statue at
Bhojpur, iron-pillar at Dhar and Tamra-patra photographs from
Betma are other attractions of the calendar.