Latest World News

In India, the curious anti-colonial crusade of Narendra Modi

19

NEW DELHI LETTER

Since 1er October, officials and institutions funded by the government of Maharashtra are prohibited from using the word ” Hello ” to greet someone when they receive a phone call. The term is considered by the authorities as “an imitation of Western culture”. They will now have to say “Vande Mataram”, which means, specified the Minister of Cultural Affairs of the State, Sudhir Mungantiwar, “I bow to our mother”.

This state in western India, whose capital is Bombay, is led by a zealous elected official, placed a few weeks ago by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the party in power in India. Eknath Shinde, a Hindu nationalist, has decided to follow to the letter the new watchword of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who, on the occasion of the 75e anniversary of the country’s independence, August 15, invited the Indians to “eliminate all traces of the colonial spirit”.

Since his accession to power in 2014, Narendra Modi has constantly erased a triple heritage, that of the Mughal Empire, which from 1526 extended Muslim influence in the subcontinent, that of the British Empire, which succeeded him and reigned over India from 1757 to 1947, and that of Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of independence. School history books have been rewritten in this sense, cities, streets, monuments renamed.

Narendra Modi undertook, with billions of euros, to remodel the architecture of New Delhi, entirely shaped by the British in the 1920s, when the latter decided to transfer the capital of the empire from Calcutta to Delhi. The Rajpath, symbol of the colonial era, designed by the architect Lutyens has been redesigned and renamed. The “alley of the Empire”, a majestic avenue that stretches for three kilometers, from the former palace of the Viceroy of India to the India Gate, the triumphal arch dedicated to the victims of the First World War , is now called “Kartavya Path”, or “Path of Duty.” »

Turn your back on the values ​​of independence

On the occasion of his inauguration, just hours before the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, Narendra Modi delivered a very anti-colonial speech, arguing that the “Rajpath”a symbol of colonialism, was synonymous “of slavery” for the Indians. “Today, its architecture and its spirit have been modified. When ministers and officers pass by this route, it will remind them of their kartavya”, he assured.

You have 54.7% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.