What is common to the 28-ft tall granite statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Thursday and the statue of Adi Shankaracharya installed at Kedarnath in November 2021?
Well, both have a Mysuru connection, as the sculptor selected for the prestigious projects – Arun Yogiraj – is from the city.
Having won rave reviews for the statue of Adi Shankara, Mr. Arun who hails from a family of traditional sculptors, was also selected to execute the project and chisel the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
‘’The work began in June and I worked with a team of 45 assistants and attendants round the clock for almost two and a half months to complete the project on schedule,” he told The Hindu over phone from Delhi.
Based on the specifications mentioned for the Netaji’s statue, black granite weighing nearly 280 tons was procured from Telangana and it was shifted to Delhi on a 140-wheel truck. The statue was chiselled in Delhi in a makeshift studio, said Mr. Arun, expressing happiness over the completion of the work.
An MBA graduate from the University of Mysore who gave up a corporate job to pursue his family tradition of sculpting, Mr. Arun inherited the skills from his father, B.S. Yogiraj Shilpi, a renowned sculptor and winner of many awards, including the Amarashilpi Jakanachari award instituted by Karnataka Shilpa Academy.
In Mysuru, Mr. Arun sculpted the statue of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar at Hardinge Circle which has been renamed after the last maharaja, and the statue of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa at Ramakrishna Nagar. When asked about the next project, Mr. Arun said he wanted a break and intended to take rest as the last few months were exhausting.