New Delhi, September 9. India woke up this Friday to the news that Queen Elizabeth II had died at the age of 96, remembered with respect, but her death came hours after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would underline “slavery”. During the British colonial period.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our time. She provided inspiring leadership to her country and her people. She displayed dignity and grace in public life. Saddened by her demise,” Modi wrote on Twitter late at night. Jupiter in India, after his death.
The Indian president, an ardent Hindu nationalist, sent a second message on social media with smiling pictures of his meetings with Elizabeth II during her official visits to the United Kingdom in 2015 and 2018. he said.
Modi also recalled how “Mahatma” Gandhi, the pacifist leader who led the movement that led to India’s independence from the British Empire 75 years ago, showed him the handkerchief given to him by the Queen at her wedding during one of their meetings.
The British remained in the Indian subcontinent for 300 years, with almost a century of direct control, ending with the partition that led to the birth of India and Pakistan in August 1947, a hasty eviction that sowed chaos and spawned sectarian pogroms. One of the largest migrations in history.
Precisely on Thursday afternoon, Modi inaugurated in style the renovation of the iconic Rajpath Boulevard in New Delhi, the powerhouse of the Indian government, in an attempt to show the end of any reminder. British colonial period.
Under the reign of George V, grandfather of Elizabeth II, it was decided in 1911 to move the capital of India, known as the jewel in the crown, from East Calcutta to New Delhi, and construction began on the boulevard on which they were located. Parliament and several ministries, a work that would end in 1931.
The boulevard was christened Kingsway (King’s Way in English) in honor of George V, and after independence it was called Rajpath, translated into Hindi. Yesterday, Modi officially renamed it Kartavya Path (path of duty, in Hindi).
“Kingsway, i.e. Rajpath, a symbol of slavery, has gone down in history from today and has been destroyed forever,” Modi declared in his speech near the new National War Memorial, where a statue of Chandra Bose, who wanted to build the army, stands. He chased the British out of the country during the colonial period.
A statue of George V was erected on the site until independence, which has since remained vacant. A few meters away is the India Gate, on whose walls are collected the names of soldiers of the British Raj who died during the First World War and the Anglo-Afghan Wars.
“During the period of slavery, there was a statue of the representative of the British Empire. Today, the country has given life to a modern and strong India by installing a statue of Netaji (“the leader”, known as Bose). The same place,” he added.
In his speech, Modi repeated the word “slavery” on several occasions, insisting that placing the statue of Bose at the site of George V was a new example of “abandoning the mentality of slavery”, the ultimate goal of the Indian people one day. Achieve “freedom of mind and spirit”.
Already Queen Elizabeth II would not make her first official visit to the Indian subcontinent until 1961, half a century after her grandfather’s previous visit, when India was still part of the British Empire. EFE
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