Sunday, June 20

The demolition of Modi’s parliament shows him as the architect of a Hindu Taliban | Architecture


TOIn the heart of New Delhi, the capital of India, is a Mughal-inspired monument that houses the seat of the Indian parliament. Built by the British architect Edwin Lutyens between 1911 and 1931, the Parliament buildings and their great roads and water channels follow the form established by the Islamic rulers of Iran and elaborated by the Islamic Sultanate of Samarkand and the Mughal rulers of India.

Lutyens designed perhaps the most important Islamic-inspired building of modern times. The buildings cite architectural emblems of Hindu temples and palaces, but the grand plan follows the Mughal-Islamic landscape design with a slight nod to Roman triumphalism. In my opinion, it is the largest collection of government buildings in the world.

Unsurprisingly, the Islamic origin of these buildings offends the current regime in Delhi. That is why the tyrant Modi and his minions are destroying it. As I write, destruction is underway. It is an abomination that Modi’s hateful campaign to de-Islamify India is allowed to continue by destroying a world-class monument. Surprisingly, the UN heritage forum is silent and world heritage bodies have kept their mouths firmly shut. Are they afraid of Modi or do they not care what happens in India?

The new construction site of the Parliament House of India in 2020.
The new construction site of the Parliament House of India in 2020. Photograph: Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images

Modi has appointed Bimal Patel as its architect. Patel will design his replacement in the same way that Albert Speer followed his Führer’s lead, but of course Patel doesn’t have an iota of Speer’s talent.

This ideologically driven and hateful destruction follows the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 and the vandalism of Islamic and Mughal monuments across India. Modi seems to want nothing less than the destruction of all Islamic monuments in India and the elimination of 200 million Indian Muslims. Let us not forget that it has already forcibly taken Indian citizenship from many millions of Indian Muslims and made them stateless – a crime for which he has not been prosecuted, despite the fact that India is a signatory to the UN declaration of human rights, of which the citizenry is a central tenant.

The claim that the destruction of this great sight is justified by the lack of space for parliament is flimsy. The National Museum of India, housed in one of the buildings to be demolished, will be moved to an unsuitable space for its wonderful collections, putting many fragile and priceless works of art at risk. All of this will be done at breakneck speed to get the job done before Modi’s term ends. The Indian courts have been pressured into agreeing to this stupid scheme and journalists and other commentators have been intimidated.

The monumental statue of Vallabhbhai Patel is four times taller than the Statue of Liberty.
The monumental statue of Vallabhbhai Patel is four times taller than the Statue of Liberty. Photograph: Amit Dave / Reuters

Tragically, Covid-19 is raging in the country, but indifferent ideology ensures that the central view project has $ 2 billion in funding, while hundreds of millions of poor and destitute Indians have to fend for themselves. . They are dying by the hundreds of thousands. Modi is building a vulgar monument to himself on the corpses of unseen and nameless citizens.

I make a comparison here with the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who in the 17th century destroyed Hindu monuments and temples throughout India with fervent religious hatred. Modi is an Aurangzeb for our time. Their regime is comparable to that of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who also try to rule with ideological fervor.

Modi’s Hindu Taliban need monuments to themselves to establish cultural acceptance and domination. Like all fascist-leaning politicians, Modi hopes that by controlling the images at the heart of the nation, he will form a new vision of his India, placing him at the center alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel.

The ego displayed in this and other of his vaunted projects endangers Indian democracy. Modi recently opened a cricket stadium named after him, in a ridiculous imitation of Kim Jong-un in North Korea. He erected a monumental statue to Vallabhbhai Patel, the Hindu-Gujarati freedom fighter. It is four times the size of the Statue of Liberty, is unimaginably vulgar, and costs more than $ 400 million. These are buildings for the ultra-nationalist Modi Taliban to gather together.

Narendra Modi Stadium.
Narendra Modi Stadium. Photograph: Aijaz Rahi / AP

The British Official John strachey stated in a lecture given at Cambridge University in 1884 that “there is no country like India and this is the first and most essential fact about India that can be learned.” Searching for unified religion, culture and tradition in India, he could not find them. What he failed to see is India’s capacity for diversity, India’s inescapable multi-layered complexity, India’s rejection of uniqueness. I couldn’t see India forming a cohesive whole without a shared language or tradition. His nation-state mentality couldn’t see unity and diversity coexisting.

British colonial efforts to force Indians to join a system led to famine and slavery. He forced the Indians into cultural inferiority so that Christian morality could dominate and British commercial interests could flourish. I believe that the fascist government of India today is doing what the British could not. Modi and his neo-colonial henchmen are imposing the Hindu uniqueness on the country.

The destruction of the parliament buildings represents the takeover of the Indian psyche by a fascist regime. His ultra-nationalist vision is of Hindu rule over all Indians at any cost, and Modi, as its architect, will rule India with his right hand raised in greeting, with an open palm, imitating the Hindu god Vishnu, among others.


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