LOK SABHA DEBATE OF
Wednesday, November 27, 1963.
Subject Statue of Swami Vivekananda
Sri P.R. Chakraverti (Congress : Bihar)
Sri C.K. Bhattacharyya (Congress : Bengal)
Sri Sidheshwar Prasad (Congress : Bihar)
Sri D.D. Puri (Congress : Punjab)
Sri Vishwanath Pandey (Congress : U.P.)
Sri Balgovind Verma (Congress : U.P.)
Will the Minister of Education be pleased to state :
a) Whether his attention has been drawn to the proposal to erect a statue of Swami Vivekananda on the Vivekananda Rock in Madras by the Vivekananda Centenary Celebration Committee, and
b) if so, the reactions of Government thereto?
Minister of Education : Sri M.C. Chagla
a) Yes, Sir.
b) It is for the Government of Madras to decide whether the erection of the statue of Swami Vivekananda at the Vivekananda Rock should be permitted.
Sri P.R. Chakraverti : Is it not a fact that the Devaswom Board directly administered by the Government of Madras gave permission to set up the statue and also a foot bridge?
Sri M.C. Chagla : As I said, it is entirely a matter for the State of Madras and I do not think we should interfere with their discretion or with any decision they may arrive at.
Sri P.R. Chakraverti : Is it not a fact that a board was set up there and it was then removed by some fishermen on certain objectionable grounds? May I know what steps Government took to see that this was set right?
Sri M. C. Chagla : Government of Madras?
Sri P.R. Chakraverti : Yes, under the advice and direction of this Ministry.
Mr. Speaker : The same answer is to be repeated then.
Sri Ranga (SWA) : Why should it be treated as a matter entirely for the State Government, in view of the fact that Swami Vivekananda is an all-India personality and the whole of India cannot dissociate itself from all responsibility with regard to this matter?
Mr. Speaker : The Hon. member mulst realise that the statue was being put there in the State itself.
Sri Ranga : Are we to understand that the Madras Govt, has raised any objection to this and, if so, what is the view of this Government in regard to this matter? We do not know anything about it. We were not told that the Madras Govt, is not in favour of raising the statue.
Sri Bade (JS) : The Madras Government referred the matter to the Central Government.
Mr. Speaker : This question can arise whether it was referred to the Central Government.
Sri Bade : Yes, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : He knows much more than any Government, but the difficulty is even when he is not required to do so, he is throwing out all that knowledge. Was any reference made?
Sri M.C. Chagla : I do not think any formal reference has been made to the Central Government.
Smt. Chakravarty (CPI) : What were the reasons adduced by the Government of Madras for objecting or refusing permission to set up this statue on the rock? Was it purely due to safety for the statue or any other reason?
Sri M.C. Chagla : If the Hon. member wants an answer to that, we will get the proper answer from the Government of Madras. But is it really fair for us here to question the discretion of the Government of Madras?
Mr. Speaker : The Hon. member wants to know whether the Central Govt, has that information as to what were the grounds on which they have rejected it?
Sri M.C. Chagla : Officially, Sir, we have no information.
Sri H. Kamath : (PSP) Has the Hon. Minister's predecessor in office who is now seated on his right been correctly reported in the press as having expressed some sort of opposition to the erection of Swami Vivekananda's statue on the historic rock at Kanyakumari, if so, on what grounds was his opposition based?
The Minister of Petroleum and Chemicals (Sri Humayun Kabir) : Sir, may I answer that question?
Mr. Speaker : Yes.
Sri Humayun Kabir : I am in a way thankful that the Hon. member has raised this question, because I know a great deal of uninformed and some ill-advised talk on this matter has been going on. This matter does not concern the Government of India and the Govt of India have nothing to do with it. No official advice was ever asked for from us and no official advice was ever given. About the question of the beauty of the place, that is an entirely different matter within the jurisdiction of the Govt of Madras to decide on any consideration they like. We have no standing on that matter.
Sri H. V. Kamath : Sir, I rise to a point of order. My question was whether he expressed, as reported in the papers, some opposition to the erection of the statue on the historic rock at Kanyakumari, if so, on what grounds was the opposition based?
Sri M.C. Chagla : Even a Minister is entitled to have his own personal individual views.
Sri H.V. Kamath : I can also have my views as you can have. I want to know on what grounds was his opposition based?
Sri Humayun Kabir : I have said that there is no question of any opposition from me. Therefore, that question does not arise.
Sri Hem Barua (PSP) : There is some contradiction.
Dr. M.S. Aney (Ind.) : May I know whether that particular rock is not included among the sites preserved by the Archaeological Department?
Sri Humayun Kabir : Not to my knowledge.
Dr. M.S. Aney : Will they do that now?
Sri M.C. Chagla : We will consider that suggestion.
Sri K.C. Pant (Con.) : May I know whether this Vivekananda Centenary Celebration Committee is an official committee or it is a private committee?
Sri M.C. Chagla : It is a non-official committee.