News Date: 01.10.2018
Sculptor Who Oversaw Carving Of 35,000 Names In Granite
Even as Ram V. Sutar, the sculptor behind Sardar Patel's 182 metres statue on Sabarmati in Gujarat, is feted and lionised, there is another artist who has done challenging work in the heart of Delhi and carved granite stones to immortalise the names of 34,884 martyrs in the police and para-military forces.
In Chanakyapuri, where the world's embassies occupy sprawling spaces, stands a 300 feet tall structure dedicated to those who laid down their lives in the line of duty. The National Police Memorial has been designed and conceptualised by one of India's prominent sculptors, Adwaita Charan Garanayak, who is also the Director-General of National Gallery of Modern Art.
Coming from a small village in Odisha grew up in the lap of nature and says that for him nature is the biggest teacher as it has "spiritual power" within itself.
The front of the memorial depicts a "soul rising from the human body". The back of it depicts drops of nectar falling from the sky and at the base runs a 60-feet long river. On a "Wall of Valour" along the sculpture are engraved names of over 30,000 persons from almost 65 organisations who were killed in action after the 1962 China War.
These include people from the police forces, the CRPF, the CISF and the BSF, among others. The name of the organisation is not written on the wall so that a martyr is not categorised. Garanayak wanted to make sure that it represented everyone in the country.
The carving of the monolithic black granite stone, mined from Khammam district of Telangana, started in the first week of August. The task meant for two years was completed in three months. It was quite a challenge. The carving was done on the spot in a continuous process. The Prime Minister opened the memorial on October 21, 2018.
From the beginning, a team of about 40 people was associated with it, though later many more were involved, including those who helped keep the area clean. The final structure is far better than what was conceived.