An iconic symbol of Chennai

“The Triumph of Labor” Statue on the Marina beach of Chennai is an iconic symbol of Chennai.

It means different things to different people. For the weary tourist it offers the cool shade, for the man selling bubble blowers it is an ideal location to catch the eye of prospective buyers, for the sundal (softly cooked dry green peas) seller , hot spot to push up his sales and for the trade unionist it symbolizes importance of hard work and persistence.

The statue portraying four men trying to move an adamant boulder was sculpted by Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, the first Indian Principal of the Madras School of Arts and Crafts. Unveiled in the 1950s, it is reminiscent of a famous World Ward- II photograph showing American Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima

The statue was installed on the eve of the Republic Day in 1959, as part of the then Kamaraj government’s drive to beautify the beach.

Since the “Marina Beach” is the favorite place for the people to keep away from sweltering heat all through the year. Right from morning walkers to kids who take over the sands during evening and senior citizens who spend their time talking about the daily happenings with friends, everyone has a bonding with the beach. Hence this statue on Marina naturally becomes a cynosure of all eyes, one that stands there as monuments of hard work and leaves an indelible mark on everyone’s mind.

Post by: Anand Gopalan

The views expressed in the posts and comments of the Madras Week blogs do not reflect the positions or opinions of British Council. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. British Council is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied here.

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