Uzbek & Rican – ‘Central Vista’ Project: Building ‘The Future’ Of India Or Erasing Its Past?

Raphaëlle Khan, PhD in History and International Relations, Specialist in Contemporary India and currently at the City University of New York, explains: “ Among the buildings that will be destroyed are several heritage facilities, including the National Archives annex. However, the future of the documents found there is unclear. There is no transparency as to how they are stored and how they are accessed. This is about what historians can now write about the history of India.”

This topic is all the more important as the governing party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), contains a very clear program for rewriting the country’s history, which more broadly fits into the Hindu nationalist project of forging a religious and monolithic national identity. This ambition deviated from the secular conception of the state realized by the great figures of independence. ”

Such an approach involves minimizing the role of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru.” continues Raphaëlle Khan. ” The “Luytens Delhi” as it is called is certainly a British product, but it has an eclectic and syncretic style. It was taken over by independent India, which appropriated it. That’s one of the central themes of this new development: it’s less about wiping out the legacy of the British than that of Nehru. This project is part of an ideological struggle for the history of India. This issue may seem less important than political speeches or legal action, but in the long run it is not. Changing the way young Indians understand their country’s history is tantamount to solidifying a vision that will be harder to change. »

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