Giant erection: Shiva statue sparks a spat

Giant erection: Shiva statue sparks a spat

A religious row between two neighbours in rural Auckland broke out this weekend after one erected a 6.4m statue of the Hindu god Shiva on his land.

Ravin Chand, above, said he installed the 30-tonne Hindu figure so that he and his family could pray to it.

But neighbour Bryce Watts, a Catholic, said the marble statue was “bizarre” and “offensive”. He huffed:

Religiously and culturally it’s a bit insensitive to us and I can’t believe they’re able to do this. Part of our property looks at it and it’s part of a religion we don’t agree with. I don’t see why we should have it poked down our throats in such a big way.

Chand, who had obtained the necessary planning permission for his huge erection, hit back:

Everybody else who has gone past has stopped and admired it. [But Watts] compared it with ‘me putting up a [Nazi] swastika next door to you’. I said, ‘Well if you want to put it up, feel free to put it up. Nobody can stop you from doing that, it’s your property.’

More than 200 people attended an inauguration ceremony for the deity. Chand invited his neighbours – including the Watts.

More than 200 people attended an inauguration ceremony for the deity. Chand invited his neighbours – including the Watts.

He added:

I’m not bothered. I haven’t got time for people like that.

It took Chand – who commissioned the carving of the marble statue from a sculptor in China in June last year – more than a week to assemble Shiva.
He would not reveal what the statue cost, saying only:

It cost me an arm and a leg. I don’t want to put a price on god.

It was so large it had to be mounted on solid concrete foundations. Workmen with diggers were still working on the finishing touches this weekend.

Watts complained he was not informed about the proposed statue, and said it was “bizarre” it could be erected without any consultation with neighbouring properties.

They’ve let it go ahead to be built without consulting us, and we’re probably the most affected here because everywhere we go on our property it’s kind of there.

I’ve been to the council and asked about it and evidently it was within their rights to do it and it doesn’t need a permit, even though it’s a 6.4m-high concrete statue. It’s 10m from our boundary which is within the rules where you can build a building.

It’s like, ‘bad luck, if you don’t like it, it’s your problem’. I find it really hard to believe in this day and age that this can happen.

22 responses to “Giant erection: Shiva statue sparks a spat”

  1. Broga says:

    I supposed the tortured, agonised, life size Jesus is outside many RC Churches would be acceptable to Bryce Watts. The nearest one to me has a crown of thorns, his face twisted in agony and nails through his hands and feet. Not a pretty sight.

  2. jay says:

    Some years ago a largish Madonna statue appeared (stored, not installed) in a neighbor’s yard. My wife and I decided that if they put that up, we’d put up a ‘Venus rising from the sea’

    Alas, they never did set it up.

  3. Gindy51 says:

    WAHHHH look at me I am a poor oppressed Christian whiner. What a big f-ing baby this Watts character is.

  4. Broga says:

    Gindy51: The Christian whiner expects people to be sensitive to, and respond to, his religious opinions before he/she voices them. They think their mad beliefs are so wonderful, so beyond challenge that any divergence must be worthy of complaint.

    You see this practice in all its infamy on the BBC where secular opinions are not unadjacent to zilch and banned totally from Thought for the Day.

  5. andym says:

    When it comes to erections unwillingly” poked down our throats,” I think Catholics have a bit more to worry about closer to home.

    Providing he’s broke no planning laws, I see no problem. More a case of Christians pleading special treatment for their sensibilities. Aesthetically, it looks a look easier on the eye than most Catholic symbolism.

  6. barriejohn says:

    Shiva me timbers!

  7. AgentCormac says:

    When you consider just how much christian iconography and propaganda we have to put up with on a daily basis, I hardly think this whinger has much to grumble about. And as for the statue being part of a religion that Watts ‘doesn’t agree with’, well I don’t agree with his ludicrous set of beliefs, so I insist that every christian place of worship be taken down too.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Obviously, Roman Catholics would never dream of erecting an enormous “in-your-face” statue that dominated any locality and virtually forced their religion down people’s throats:

  9. andym says:

    Quite. Another example of Christians failing to see the log in their own eye.
    A minor case, but a good example of the need for secularist moderation of religion. The law protects Mr Chand’s right to express his own beliefs.The religious are generally fully in favour of freedom of religious expression-as long as that expression coincides with their own beliefs or at least doesn’t intrude on them.

  10. AgentCormac says:

    OT, but if ever you needed proof that religion is not only political, but also an entirely tradeable, negotiable and transient concept, then here it is big time:

  11. L.Long says:

    You must understand that xtians are very depressed over the fact that they have never really been persecuted so they have to invent persecution to feel ???? HOLEY!!! What could possibly be worse persecution then to leave the house every morning and see a large statue of an imaginary being that is NOT my imaginary being!!!!!!???? Nailed to a Roman torture device!!!
    PERSECUTION!!!! ;-} Hope he suffers everyday he has to look at it!

  12. Broga says:

    AgentCormac: Religion is tradeable, negotiable and transient as you say. And the “reason” to believe can be whatever the believers want it to be. Try this, for example.
    I was in the pub the other night and, after a few pints, somebody said (relating to Cameron doing religion) they thought, “Religion is bollocks.”
    Somebody else said, “Well, I’m convinced that God exists.”
    I asked, “Have you read “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins?
    He said, “I tried it and I thought that Dawkins was so certain that belief was wrong that the opposite just had to be true.”

    Bloody hell, we enter weird territory with this. Of course, I think that when he said he “tried” the book he had backed off after a few pages. My impression is that he is a convinced believer and had to come up with some explanation.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Bible good; other religion’s book bad. Here is an excellent, and highly amusing, piece by Rachel Ford:

    I bet Crowder could read that and still not get it!

  14. xenubarb says:

    Once upon a time, a giant statue of Jesus lived in Ohio. Then, Zeus did release a lightning bolt (or maybe it was Thor, I don’t know) and Jesus began to burn in a most spectacular way.It was massive, so the pictures of the burning King of Kings were pretty darned epic.

    Nobody complained about this giant lightning rod in their midst. Not even the Hindus.

  15. Robster says:

    The catholic whinger should organise a huge new pope Frank statue, even bigger than the shiva statue, or a mother of a Mary statue or even that dead jew fellow dangling from a stick, no complaints I’m sure about one of those.
    The catholic person could, I’m sure find a factory in China to mould up a Frank, Jesus or Mary statue ready for display and at a value price.

  16. RussellW says:

    One of my neighbours has three rusting cars in his backyard, I’d prefer Shiva any day.

    I’d like a sculpture, on my front lawn, of the last aristocrat being strangled with the entrails of the last priest, or is it the other way around? Doesn’t matter really.

  17. 1859 says:

    From where I live I can see three church steeples and then on Sundays they have the audacity to ring bells in my ears! I can’t keep going around wearing blinkers and earplugs – it’s just not fair – not that I’m a whining atheist or anything so grumpy!

  18. AgentCormac says:

    In my experience you’ll never win with people who are so utterly convinced of their own superior knowledge in the divinity department. Best to slope off to the bar and order another pint! And my guess would be that the closest the bloke you mention has ever got to opening ‘The God Delusion’ is reading damning reviews about it on christian blogs and websites. And they have the temerity to say that Dawkins is overly certain of his opinions!!

  19. Brummie says:

    I wonder where UK law stands on such large statuary on ones own property?
    I don’t mean judgement on taste or aesthetics.
    Certainly Christians take full advantage with bloodthirsty torture stuff.
    How about, say, 2 men performing a homosexual act? or mohammed chewing on a pork bap? or an adult beating a child?

  20. Newspaniard says:

    When the title said “Giant Erection”, I was immediately interested in the full length photo, which, I confess, after I had scrolled down, was a bit of a disappointment. I was all ready to become “outraged” and write to the Archbish of Canterbury. Ho hum, another boring statue, never mind.

  21. Cali Ron says:

    The fellow should just install a bigger statue of god with a lightning bolt coming out of his hand pointing towards the Shiva statue. Let the battle begin. Of course nothing will happen, just like it always does when waiting for “god” to do something. Just another christian whining about how persecuted they all are. What a bunch of pussies. Atheists put up with religious irritation all the time, so get over it.