Where is my 'Father of the Nation?'
Popular artist C Ravi Shankar Patnaik's sculpture of 'Mahatma Gandhi' was selected to be placed at the India Gate canopy in New Delhi. Caught in the...
Popular artist C Ravi Shankar Patnaik's sculpture of 'Mahatma Gandhi' was selected to be placed at the India Gate canopy in New Delhi. Caught in the cross-fire between various organisations the issue stands unresolved. 'Where is my Father of Nation?' asks the Visakhapatnam-based artist Jaywant Naidu Tell us about Art in your life? My father CSN Patnaik is one of the best National sculptors of his time. I was inspired by his works. He is the guiding force behind the interest of my wife Sandhya in the field of painting. What is the present situation of the Art field in India? Today Art is central around a few buyers and collectors. A common man cannot afford Art in the true sense. Every Artist wants that the price of his works go up by leaps and bounds within a short span. Everyone wants to be pricey and out of bounds of the common man. The higher the price, the more successful an artist is supposed to be. And what when anyone wants to sell an Artwork? We have no defined rules or shops to offload Art. I feel that an artist creates history. Therefore the quality of the work is more important than anything else. Where is your 'Mahatma Gandhi '? Where is my 'Father of the Nation'? A few years back, my sculpture of 'Mahatma Gandhi' was selected to be placed in the India Gate canopy in New Delhi. This became a subject of strange litigation and the matter went to the court of law. The Conservation Society of Delhi and the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage protested the proposal to shift the canopy from its present site. The issue was that the place of the canopy (a part of the architectural heritage) should not be disturbed. Later, the All India Freedom Fighters Association intervened and urged the court to order installation of Gandhi's statue at the site as the capital does not have any statue of the Father of the Nation except in Parliament premises. Parliament had passed resolution, supported by all political parties, on the installation of the statue, but the matter is pending. I really do not know where the 'Mahatma' is resting at the moment. How keen is your wife into painting? My wife Sandhya hails from Kakinada and has always been guided by her father-in-law. She has completed her Bachelor's in Fine Arts, and participates in exhibitions all over India. Have you made any other important statute sculptures? The former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's statue sculpted by me is in the foreyard of the prestigious training academy at Mussorie.Statues of Mother Teresa are in El-Salvador, Panama City, and Rome. I could get the fortune to meet and host family members of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Mahatma Gandhi at my beachside house in Visakhapatnam. I felt very excited to meet grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajmohan Gandhi, and relatives of Lal Bahadur Shastri.