The statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. A team of sculptors, led by Arun Yogiraj, worked for 26,000 man-hours to carve out the grand statue. Here's all you need to know about the Mysore-based sculptor.
A team of sculptors, led by Arun Yogiraj, worked for 26,000 man-hours to carve out the grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
The culture ministry said the statue was carved out from a monolithic block of granite weighing 280 MT. The giant granite stone travelled 1,665 km from Khammam in Telangana to New Delhi on a 100-ft-long truck fitted with 140 wheels.
The 28-ft statue of Bose, that will be placed under the canopy near India Gate, will be unveiled on Thursday by the Prime Minister. The newly-christened Kartavya Path, a stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, will also be inaugurated.
Who is Arun Yogiraj?
The 37-year-old is the son of noted sculptor Yogiraj Shilpi and hails from a family of Mysuru palace artists, Indian Express reported. Yogiraj holds an MBA degree and has worked with a private firm for a few years before shifting to sculpting full time in 2008.
Prior to making the final stone sculpture of Shankaracharya at Kedarnath, which was unveiled by PM Modi last year, Yogiraj had carved a two-foot model for approval by concerned authorities, including the PMO.
Similarly, before making the Bose statue, Yogiraj presented Modi with a two-foot statue of the legendary freedom fighter. The PM had thanked Yogiraj for the “exceptional sculpture of Netaji Bose".
Apart from the statue of Adi Shankaracharya, Yogiraj had sculpted a 14.5-foot white marble sculpture of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar in Mysuru. He has also carved a life-size white marble sculpture of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
How he got the job
In an interview with CNN-News18, Yogiraj said that he and eight-nine other artists received calls to attend a meeting regarding the project in January. At the meeting, it was decided that the Netaji statue would be made of stone.
"There are several challenges when it comes to carving out such a large statue out of stone, that too granite," the sculptor said. Initially, a replica of the actual statue was made. The artists later started working on the actual statue.
About the statue
The statue was designed by a team from the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), headed by its Director-General Adwaita Gadanayak. Gadanayak and other members of a culture ministry committee monitored and reviewed the status of the statue, which was approved before August 15.
The statue, made of black jade granite stone, weighs 65 MT. The stone for the carving was ferried from Telangana to Delhi. Sculpting began in June. More than 40 artisans from different states were involved in making the statue, who sometimes had to work 24 hours’ straight to finish in time, said reports. They were working under the guidance of Yogiraj at a shed on NGMC campus, The New Indian Express reported.
According to ministry officials, Yogiraj worked specifically on Netaji’s facial features as he specialised in creating portrait sculptures.