There is nothing surprising that the Govt of Maharashtra unveiled it's plans to build a monument worth Rs. 350 crores in "honour" of Shivaji. In India, you don't honour someone by trying to emulate the good works that those people did in their lifetime, rather you can only honour someone when you build an ostentatious statue in their probable likeness.
The statue is nothing but another step towards the black hole of identity politics. The foundation for identity politics in Maharashtra was laid by the Shiv Sena. The MNS simply snatched away the torch and took it to the next level. And now, it's simply like a game of poker. The Congress-NCP has upped the stakes. It's like their telling their opponents, I see your indigenous vada=pav stalls & your empty rhetoric and raise you a hundred million rupee Shivaji statue. Whose the real Manoos now, huh? Gappa Bas?
Since there is no reasonable explanation for the statue, the Congress-NCP government surrogates who are sent to defend such an expense will talk in cliches and say that only the "elites" are against the Statue and anyone who is against building of the statue is against the Marathi people, and so on. And then if that doesn't work, they will send their violent-protestors-for-hire to intimidate and silence the critics.
Of course the money could be well spent in other areas. Like perhaps making a better life for all those slum kids who did not star in a Oscar winning movie by giving them access to quality education so that they don't spend their lives waiting for a their own great white hope. Or the families of thousands of farmers who kill themselves because they don't have a good crop due to the fact that they can't irrigate their fields and can't pay back the large and unfair interest that the moneylenders impose on them. Or developing a proper sewer system in Mumbai so that whenever it drizzles, the country's "financial capital" doesn't resemble Venice (Which by the way, is not something to brag about)! Or buying quality equipment for the people who are our first line of defence against a terrorist attack so that their courage is not betrayed by faulty equipment?
But hey, there's nothing a large statue will not solve, eh?