A popular landmark of India, India Gate is possibly not known by many is the memorial for the martyrs in the Indo-Afghan war during the British Raj. The memorial for the unknown Indian soldier martyrs of the Bangladesh war was added on Republic Day of January 1972. The red sandstone canopy just behind the India Gate still remains empty waiting for the Father of the Nation, thanks to the bitter bitchings among our political leaders of today.
The India Gate remains a colonial icon and the canopy behind languishes.
But we cannot put Gandhi or Netaji there. What an irony. Meanwhile the India Gate lawns are utilised as a mere ice-cream rendezvous point for thousands of visitors by the evening, a veritable lovers’ lawn for the space-challenged young couples during daytime and a stretch of premium asphalt on Rajpath for the dare devil bikers of Delhi itching for a screechy wheely act after midnight, playing cat and mouse with the city cops.
What a trivialization of the prime capital space, begging all of us for a better deal. The floodlights on the century old monument on the Rajpath are inadequate to expel the darkness of our conscience as proud citizens of modern India.
Please give this space to Gandhiji and Netaji. Please anoint this open-air ice-cream parlour of Delhi, the runaway lovers’ paradise and the night revelry spot for drugged devil bikers! Hey Ram!