NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project--the Sardar Patel statue projected to be the tallest in the world---has been quietly moved to China for bronze plating and final touches in what has become a travesty of history in itself. The 182 metre statue is being smelted and cast in the Nanchang province of China.

The Congress has taken a potshot at the government for this decision with spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi saying, “”I don’t think Sardar Patel would like that Make-in-India definition of Modi-ji is converted into Made-in-China definition of Sardar Patel’s statue,” The Congress has asked the Prime Minister to explain why and how India was seen to lack the capability to build and finalise the statue of the Congress leader from scratch.

The decision to build the statue followed the BJP’s effort to usurp some of the independence history of India by embracing icons of the Congress led movement at the time. The Sardar Patel statue was given ‘national project’ stature and is set to be installed near the Sardar Sarovar dam.

The media and social media that has been inspired into black humour and swipes at the government has been carrying details of Sardar Patel’s observations on China. One such missive is a confidential letter written by him on November 7, 1950, a month before he died. In this letter to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru Patel wrote, "...even though as we (India) regard ourselves as friends of China, the Chinese do not regard us as their friends. With the communist mentality of "whoever is not with them being against them," this is a significant pointer, of which we have to take due note...."

The letter continues, "China continues to regard us with suspicion and the whole psychology is of, at least outwardly, skepticism...."

Interestingly the statue has been sub-contracted by Larson and Toubro, to China and the world’s largest foundry, Jiangxi Toqine Metal Handicrafts Co Ltd. This as the social media has pointed out is despite India’s own competence as reflected in nearly 5000 foundry units that could have done the work indigenously.