New 95-Feet Tall Periyar Statue To Add To Colossal Icons In TN

A giant statue of Thanthai Periyar, the revered Rationalist and Social Reformer, in brick and mortar will join the list of colossal statues in the country but would remain distinct from others for the late leader’s vision and principles.

‘The Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution Trust’ is set to install a 95-feet tall statue to signify the number of years Periyar had lived in this land, propagating the principles of rationalism, self-respect, women’s rights and fighting against the evils of the caste system.

On a request made by the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has accorded permission to install the monumental statue at Siruganur village in Mannachanallur block in Tiruchirappalli district. The DK President K Veeramani, accompanied by Vice President Kali Poongundran and General Secretary V Anburaj met the Chief Minister at his camp office on August 30 and thanked him for granting permission.

The statue in a complex, housing a Museum, Library, Research Centre and London’s Madame Tussauds-like Wax Museum would come up in a sprawling 20–30-acre site in the pristine village, said Mr V Anburaj, General Secretary of DK.

The DK has chosen the site for it owns the land and it is located adjacent to the National Highway. Besides, Trichy, the central part of Tamil Nadu, had been one of Periyar’s endeared places after Erode and Chennai. The site would also serve as a convenient point for people from other parts of the state to visit. Once installed, the statue would be visible from the National Highway and even the passer-by could take a glimpse of Periyar.

The ‘Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution Trust’ would implement the ambitious Rs 100 crore project in three phases, Mr Anburaj said, adding, the money would be raised through crowdfunding and through contributions from the followers of the Social Justice Icon.

In the first phase, Periyar statue would be installed along with the busts of Justice Party and Dravidian party leaders, including late leaders Perarignar Anna (C N Annadurai) and Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi), he said. “We are planning to complete the first phase in three years and the entire project in 10 years”, he said adding “After completing the project, we want to convert the entire site as one of the major tourist destinations in the country.”

The foundation stone laying ceremony has been tentatively fixed for December 24, on the occasion of the 48th death anniversary of Periyar. The statue, to be a concrete structure, would be erected on a two-tier base, which would serve as the pedestal. The first phase is expected to be completed in three years, Mr Anburaj said.

A Museum, a Photo Gallery and an Audiovisual, depicting the life history of Periyar would be established at the complex. A library, mostly books on Dravidian history, SelfRespect movement and Periyar’s literature would also be set up. “We are also planning to establish a Wax Museum on the lines of the Madame Tussauds, the major tourist attraction in London with life-like wax statues of Periyar and his proteges,'' he added.