It was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens as the grand imperial heart of India, then reclaimed as the seat of power for an independent republic. Now, government plans to redevelop Delhi’s emblematic central vista and build a new parliament have drawn fierce criticism.
Writing in the Guardian, the acclaimed Indian-born sculptor Anish Kapoor has described the plans to rebuild the nation’s power corridor as an act of “political fanaticism” by Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu-nationalist prime minister.
The “expensive vanity project”, Kapoor writes, is Modi’s “way of placing himself at the centre and cementing his legacy as the ruler-maker-builder of a new Hindu India”. The project, added Kapoor, is going ahead “without an articulated architectural position, public consultation, parliamentary debate or peer consent”.