Now it is very clear that the Central Vista plan is a reality. It will be a new cultural vista, a new point of name and fame. It will be a new invention of national pride.
Barring iconic temple ‘Akshar Dham’, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMC), and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)- always in news for wrong reasons, national capital Delhi is nothing to boast about everything Indian.
All the buildings, markets and other important places were constructed either by invader Mughals or colonial masters. It is a different matter that Mughals raised all the building after raising the Hindu temples and other iconic buildings.
Now, all the petitions have been dismissed to stop the work on the Central Vista project. Still, some serial no Sayers are reimagining to stop the work, blaming that the Central Vista will lose its cultural attraction and it will be simply a new kingdom of babus. For them, the Lutyens buildings are the most valuable place in Delhi. So they should be preserved. For them, a place, under the control of bureaucrats cannot be a good symbol for Indian democracy.
These elements are still chasing some noticeable face to cultural institutions. They are still trying to create some controversy and stalemate in the name of cultural place. Nation has been celebrating Republic Day–like Russia, China and North Korea with military power and cultural identities.
However, some democratic nations like the USA, Germany and Brazil have similarly converted their important public places into people’s cultural places. In the US, there is the Capitol and government offices on the one side and the other, the famous, the Washington Mall, housing galleries, museums and theatres. the Museum of African American History was also added to it around five years back. Similarly, public places along the Seine river in Paris is also dotted with galleries, museums and gardens.
It is time now that the relics of the colonial era and slavery are erased. Russian parade ground aspect can be moved to some other place or maybe at the Red Fort or near to Akshar Dham Temple. Any important place left for cultural institution or pedestrians makes no sense. It has become a growing tendency among some people to misuse such place and they instigate the people for disturbances. Artists, architects, historians, activists, NGOs and many other such groups misuse their clout to foment troubles and riots. The US recently witnessed such unrest where BLM activists, Antifa groups and others engineered mass riots in the US.
In India too, such cultural relics are highly misused and taxpayer’s money is wasted on them. Valuable parts of history and culture can be kept somewhere else. It is not very difficult to preserve rare artefacts, ancient sculpture, manuscripts, and precious jewellery –currently kept with the National Museum. It can be moved to Noida, Ghaziabad or Khurja. Similarly, the National Archives, the IGNCA and the Archaeological Survey of India can also be moved to some other locations. Khurja has huge beautiful and unused buildings. Those buildings can be used to give these institutions a new address.
These old huge buildings can be used to keep the delicate items like leaf and papyrus manuscripts, heavy Pallava stone sculptures and special casings, special hoists and temperature control system can also be arranged for them there. This shifting requires experts and that will also generate employment and new and modern technique for preserving can be used. Those can be properly catalogued, stored and displayed to the people.
All this can develop a new township and some population can be shifted to that town. Similarly, it will also help to de-congest Delhi. Central Vista will be a pride of the nation with a new parliament house, houses to PM and ministers. Massive plantation should be done on the central flank between Rashtrapati Bhavan and the space around the India Gate to keep the environment fresh and pollution-free.
Now, the capital could be freed from the colonial tag of Lutyens Delhi. Instead of finding fault with the project, all should give the government some positive and constructive suggestions–to preserve the history with a new modern Indian vision.
Now, work on the Central Vista project is going fast. Beyond senseless activism and political mudslinging, people should give positive and creative suggestion. Some new addresses should be suggested to house galleries, theatres, museums, music auditoriums, library and other archival structures. New possibilities should be cashed and milked. There must be optimism. Renounce negativities and generate harmonious vibes or remain silent as they have been remained silent for the last more than three decades on the forcible closure of all the cinema halls, art galleries, theatres, cultural hubs etc in Kashmir valley.