Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Statue Turns 100 on February 5

Past forward to Victorian times
Statue Turns 100 on February 5
The Times of India

Bangalore: Leaf through the pages of history...go back in time, to the Victorian era. For 100 years Queen Victoria’s statue stood at the entrance of Cubbon Park looking imperiously over the changes: from monarchy to coalition governments; from British barracks Cantonment metamorphosing into hi-tech capital.

Exactly 100 years ago, on February 5, 1906, the statue was unveiled. Think about it: nobody has ever taken exception or even raised a whimper about the inscription which to this day reads — Empress of India. History buffs aver that the very location of the erstwhile Her Majesty, couldn’t get more strategic. She stands where Cantonment, for all practical purposes, ends and roads lead to the so-called old Bangalore... N R Colony, Basavanagudi.

The story has it that wealthy Indians in Cantonment contributed to the making of the statue, though the inscription underneath reads — “Erected by public subscription.’’

Avid historian Suryanath Kamath adds more perspective, “This statue is similar, rather is a replica of the one erected in Worcester in England.’’

This is one statue bereft of controversies. No ‘down with’ slogans or ‘remove statue’ demands.
Explains Victorian-history and trivia enthusiast Arun Pai, whose Bangalore Walks programmes are now legion, “This statue is significant because of many symbolic facets attached to it.’’

With a globe in the left hand, head beaming high, the statue has the ‘longest reign’ like Queen Victoria herself had in British history.


• Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India

• Unveiled by His Royal Highness, George Frederick Ernest Albert, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and York.

• On 5th day of February 1906.


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