PM Modi continues to fight for freedom from colonial past

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Independence Day address at Red Fort Delhi on Monday August 15, 2022. [Representational Image]
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Independence Day address at Red Fort Delhi on Monday August 15, 2022. [Representational Image] ANI

New Delhi: The decision to rename Rajpath and the Central Vista grounds as “Kartavya Path” on Monday gave the Narendra Modi administration another boost in its effort to erase the nation of its colonial past. The road the British called “Kingsway” was almost translated into Hindi as “Rajpath.”

This comes amid a flurry of actions taken by the Modi administration to remove reminders of colonial legacy from the nation’s capital and elsewhere.

On the street where the Prime Minister’s residence is located, Race Course Road was first renamed Lok Kalyan Marg. Next, a hologram statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was unveiled at India Gate.

His statue would soon be erected there in the canopy where a statue of King George V had previously stood before it was taken down in 1968.

The St. George’s Cross was removed from the previous naval pennant, which was unveiled by the PM last week at the commissioning of INS Vikrant.

This is in light of PM Modi’s recent Independence Day speech, in which he emphasized the removal of artifacts that reflect a colonial mindset. “We must abandon our colonial mentality. We must instead rely on our own strengths,” the PM had said.

The entire stretch of road from the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to Rashtrapati Bhavan will now be referred to as Kartavya Path. According to a government source, “this is also a message to the ruling elite that the time of rulers and subjects is finished.” In honour of the then-Emperor of India, George V, the British gave the street the name Kingsway.

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