After days of uncertainty, the Tamil Nadu government has finally informed the Madras High Court that a statue of late actor Sivaji Ganesan would be removed from RK Salai- Kamarajar Salai junction at Chennai’s Marina beach.
But to stem any discontent amongst fans and family, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had announced last Wednesday itself that a manimandapam or memorial would be built on the banks of the Adyar river in the capital city honouring Sivaji Ganesan, the statue at the beach will be shifted to the memorial.
Making a suo muto statement in the assembly, Jayalalithaa said that in September 2002 she had allotted land measuring 65 cents for the purpose of constructing a memorial for Sivaji and handed over the responsibility to South Indian Film Artists Association of Commerce. Jayalalithaa's announcement was clearly a pre-empted one as removal of the statue without an alternate destination would have created a huge controversy. The statue had been installed by DMK chief Karunanidhi in 2006 and Sivaji fan groups across the state had already protested agaaint the court's directive.
Secretary of Tamil Development and Information Department M Rajaram who submitted the government’s proposal told the Madras High Court bench comprising Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice K K Sasidharan that he would ask the government how long it would take to construct the memorial.
Since the association had failed to utilize the land for the purpose, her government has decided to take the matter into its hands.
Meanwhile, Sivaji Ganesan’s family met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in Chennai on Tuesday to thank her over her decision to build the memorial.
The court had asked for the removal of the statue after a police report agreed to a petitioner’s stance that the statue was causing accidents in the area.