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


From 1Ahem October, officials and institutions funded by the Maharashtra government are prohibited from using the word ” Hello ” to greet someone when receiving a phone call. The term is considered by the authorities as “an imitation of western culture”. Now they’ll have to say “Vande Mataram”, which means, specified the Minister of Cultural Affairs of the State, Sudhir Mungantiwar, “I bow to our mother”.

This western Indian state, whose capital is Mumbai, is run by a zealous elected official, installed a few weeks ago by the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s ruling party. Eknath Shinde, a Hindu nationalist, has decided to follow to the letter the new slogan of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who on the occasion of the 75me anniversary of the country’s independence, on August 15, invited the indigenous people to “eliminate all traces of the colonial spirit”.

Since coming 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, and that of the British Empire, which succeeded it and reigned over India from 1757 to 1947 , and that of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first independence minister. School history books have been rewritten in this sense, cities, streets, renowned monuments.

Narendra Modi pledged billions of euros to reshape New Delhi’s architecture, modeled entirely by the British in the 1920s, when the latter decided to move the empire’s capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The Rajpath, a symbol of colonial times, designed by architect Lutyens has been redesigned and renamed. The “Empire Alley”, a majestic avenue that stretches for three kilometers, from the former palace of the Viceroy of India to India Gate, the triumphal arch dedicated to the victims of the First World War, now it is called “Kartavya Path”. “, or “Way of duty”. »

Turn your back on the values ​​of independence

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

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