(SIGHT MAGAZINE) Standing almost 35 metres high, Asia’s tallest stone statue of Jesus would look out from a four hectare plot in the Catholic-majority Harobele village on the outskirts of the global technology hub Bangalore, the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
After a large, undisclosed donation to the Catholic Church’s $US1.5 million project by a local Hindu politician’s family, protests are threatening to shut down the plan. The protests are led by Hindu nationalist groups and supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling government, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which also governs Karnataka.
The land donation for the Jesus statue came from DK Shivakumar, who represents the rural district Kanakapura outside Bangalore that includes hundreds of villages, including Harobele. His brother DK Suresh is a devout Hindu and local member of parliament representing rural Bangalore for the Congress Party, the opposition to the BJP.
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