Modi the fanatic is using the coronavirus crisis to destroy India’s heritage – By Anish Kapoor
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” Winston Churchill once declared … Crisis offers, of course, an opportunity for draconian governments to hide their deeper purpose. Just such deeper purpose is hidden in India’s fascist government’s decision to push forward now in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis with the redevelopment of the so-called central vista in Delhi.
The high court of India has been coerced into giving the go ahead to this hair-brained scheme in the last few weeks without consultation or due process. The central vista is Edwin Lutyens’ design for the parliament buildings and the grand avenue of Janpath (People’s Road) which were built between 1912 and 1931. Lutyens’ buildings are laid out in grand style with great wide avenues befitting the late British fantasy of imperial colonial power.
Modi and his fascist government have commissioned architect Bimal Patel to redesign this central vista. This without consultation or any understanding or regard to the importance of Lutyens design. One would have at least hoped for due process in Mr Patel’s appointment to such an important task. Mr Patel’s talent is not up to the task. Mr Patel has destroyed the city of Ahmedabad by cementing over the banks of the Sabarmati river that runs through it, he is in the process of ruining Varanasi by building roads through it and covering it in concrete with no regard to its people or its history. All this of course under Modi’s BJP government’s direction.