Updated: February 4, 2021 10:51:22 am
There’s no dearth of bad sculptures and statues of eminent personalities around the globe. And the latest in the list is from Pakistan. Images of a large statue of Pakistani national poet Allama Iqbal went viral, sadly for the wrong reasons.
Although the statue was unvieled in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in August last year, it garnered attention only recently on Twitter. While some thought it was hilarious and shared memes, others slammed the authorities for their negligence.
Iqbal, an acclaimed Urdu and Persian poet, philosopher and lawyer is revered in the country and many claimed the badly made statue is an insult to the man. With #AllamaIqbal dominating trends on Twitter Pakistan, the sculpture left social media abuzz in the country.
Don’t have to think hard what corruption and incompetence looks like. pic.twitter.com/N8WhVyJdx4
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) February 2, 2021
Allama Iqbal Statues in #Lahore
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) February 2, 2021
Dr Allama Iqbal a revolutionary #Pakistani the visionary of #Pakistan deserves a better sculpture than this! Hope the authorities remove this sculpture and get an expert to re-create it🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Allamaiqbalsculpture #Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI #Allamaiqbal pic.twitter.com/Ea3yARt1jM
— Inspire (@im4sports) February 2, 2021
I strongly demand to remove this. it’s an insult to Allama Iqbal, & get it done by professional sculpture.
— shaz (@shaz114455) February 2, 2021
— ANAM (@nizamanitweets) February 2, 2021
— UmAr farooq (Kashmir Lives Matter) (@kashmiriUmar55) February 2, 2021
— Mr. President 🇵🇰 (@mrpre5ident) February 2, 2021
— Syed Sarmad Amer Gilani (@TheRedGlasses) February 2, 2021
— Taلha 💚🇵🇰 (@sabka__katega__) February 2, 2021
— Akhlaque Mahesar (@akhlaqueali) February 2, 2021
— Miss_Malik (@Saleha_Malik20) February 2, 2021
However, after much backlash, city’s Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Chairman Yasir Gillani clarified that the statue had been built by the park’s gardeners out of their love for the poet Iqbal. “This is prepared by maalis at their own , they made it in sheer love for Iqbal and to pay homage from their heart. Authority didn’t approved or even paid a single penny for it,” he said in a tweet.
Dear, this is prepared by maalis at their own , they made it in shere love for Iqbal and to pay homage from their heart. Authority didn’t approved or even paid a single penny for it.
WE WILL ADDRESS IT but can anyone see from maalis eye’s, their love and their عقیدت, pic.twitter.com/qAdf0Nw4E9
— Yasir Gillani PTI (@yasir_gillani) February 2, 2021
However, as the buzz on social media grew louder, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also took notice, directing officials to remove it and has sought a report from DG PHA about the incident, 92 News reported.
Park’s spokesperson, Nadia Tufail, confirmed to The News that the sculpture is being removed and will be reinstalled with improvements. A picture showing a group of workers uprooting the boundary fence surrounding the now-viral sculpture started to circulate online.
سوشل میڈیا پے وائرل ہونے کے بعد اقبال کے مجسمے کو اکھاڑا جا رہا ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/4jlRof0vbp
— Rai Shahnawaz (@RaiShahnawaz) February 2, 2021
However, hours later, two officials of PHA Lahore were suspended for “inefficiency and negligence of duty” on Tuesday after a furore on social media. According to an order issued by the authority, Shah Nawaz Wattoo, the park’s Deputy Director Horticulture, and Assistant Director Horticulture Ghulam Sibtain, who lead the construction initiative, have been suspended with “immediate effect”, Dawn reported.
مجسمہ محکمہ پارک کے ڈائریکٹر نے مالیوں سے بنوایا۔۔۔وہ تصویر لے کر آئے اور پارک کا سیمنٹ اور سامان استعمال ہوا۔۔
اب مالیوں نے آرڈر تو ماننا تھا۔۔ان سے ڈیوٹی کے وقت پودے لگواو یا مجسمہ بنوا۔۔انٹرویو دینے والے صاحب سپروائزر ہیں۔ محکمے کے افسران چاہتے تو پروفیشنل ہائیر کرتے ۔ https://t.co/MCtUCuWFnS
— Waseem Abbasi (@Wabbasi007) February 2, 2021
Sibtain, the former project director told the news outlet that construction on the statue started during the first wave of the coronavirus. “We did not hire any architect to make the statue but two gardeners worked on it,” he revealed adding that some regular people to the park helped with some contribution. He also highlighted that the statue wasn’t criticised by the locals to the park.
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