Karela Fry

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Imperial dreams

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India gate: by Captain Suresh

My favourite regional newspaper, the Chandigarh Tribune reports on the centenary of the move of the British colonial capital from Kolkata to Delhi:

The political and cultural capital of several empires, Delhi today celebrated 100 years of its re-emergence as the capital of modern India.

Even though Delhi is wrapped in centuries of history, it was the British Empire that gave the city — also called Lutyens’ Delhi — its modern-day capital and seat of power, New Delhi. It was proclaimed as the capital of British Raj on December 12, 1911, shifting from Kolkata, by then Emperor of India George V, thereby returning to the historic city its lost glory.

And with a view to introduce people to New Delhi’s rich heritage, the Delhi Government and cultural agencies have hosted an array of events, exhibitions, cultural performances and other festivals that give a generous peep into its exquisite history.

“The foundation of the British Capital was first laid in December 1911 by two leading 20th century British architects, Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. However, it was not just Lutyens’ work but that of many other unsung architects that made New Delhi what it is today,” said AGK Menon, convener of the Delhi chapter of the Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

Though there was no official ceremony to mark the occasion today, a book on the history of seven cities of Delhi ‘Red Fort to Raisina’, edited by JP Losty, Union Minister Salman Khursheed, conservation architect Ratish Nanda and ‘Seminar’ publisher Malvika Singh was released by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Foreign news sources are going gaga over this non-event. Within thirty-five years of the proclamation that empire was history.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

December 13, 2011 at 5:34 am

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