Narendra Modi did not write a letter to the three sages, but to their chief architect and patriot Bimal Patel. Between the middle of next year and the beginning of 2024, he wants to release the following buildings that are now only at PowerPoint: a new official residence, a new cabinet headquarters, a new parliament, a new national archive, a new national museum, a new vice president Housing, a dozen new ministries …
The list of constructions will be for demolition – half a million square meters – and up to application changes. All these are in the Olympus of Indian power, British New Delhi. A colonial legacy nominated for the World Heritage Site was soon withdrawn by Modi.
Modi will have a new residence and will expel the Secretariat to promote the Hindu art of the National Museum there
The uprising in the power structure is huge and on many fronts, the opposition is still trying to guess where the ball is. So far, it has only been successful in denouncing “opacity” and “waste”. Eighty intellectuals, a few weeks ago, were asked to reconsider their investments and stop prioritizing them.
But in the same week, the Supreme Court again rejected any suspension of work that has been exempted from the control of epidemics at all times. According to Modi, there is an urgency to arrive on time for the 75th anniversary of independence next year. According to his opponents, the real calendar marks the centenary of the RSS in 2024, and the Hindu supremacist movement Modi is responsible for everything.
Coincides with the next Indian elections, which will always move a lot of money. The budget for the magnificent restoration of nothing less than two thousand three hundred million euros is, until now, one of the windiest parts of Delhi, with its neighbors wanting to eat an ice cream at the end of the day, but it will briefly become congested by building a dozen similar ministries.
Thus executive power would be aligned on both sides of the Rajpath, from the old King’s Way, from the Presidential Palace – to the Viceroy – to the Indian Gateway. This is similar to Patel’s own reconstruction a few years ago in Gandhinagar, the seat of government in Modi’s home state.
The most advanced projects are the plans of the new parliament, which will be built against the current plan, which is difficult to expand and will be used as a “museum of democracy”.
However, no one has seen the plans for the new home of the vice president or CEO. Since Rajiv Gandhi had his own tunnel leading to the old Safdarjung Airport for the first few years, he lives with his mother in the same bungalow complex as his ancestors. Until now, Modi has been content to rename the street one of his special features. No more.
Many architects have spoken out against the “attack” on Edwin Ludens’ legacy – the bungalows allotted to ministers still have cakes at the beginning of each assembly – and Herbert Baker, the architect of Pretoria.
The Indianisation of Rajput – the venue for Republic Day parades – adds to that. Paradoxically, the nodes of Ludians and Baker’s Indian architecture disappear. “The new ministries may be on the American highway,” says one newspaper. Some of the falling Kafkeski ugly ministries will cry.
Narendra Modi hides another ace. The Indira Gandhi Center for Archives and Art will be torn down and rebuilt to make way for new ones. Spike will reach the National Museum and be converted into one of the two buildings of its magnificent sculpture collection secretariat – which will be in front of the Presidential Palace.
A noble place that still holds the heart of power: foreign, security, interior and finance. At the end of the Rajpath, the stone canopy that held George is empty, and Allah is invisible. But the stone gods of India are going to get their Olympus.
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