The historical monument Lal Qila, got ‘adopted’ recently by the Dalmia group where they have been also provided with the rights to place their signboards and hold concerts, programmes in the premises of the Red Fort. They can even charge us extra on visiting the place which marks our freedom and the site where the past and the present coalesced to mark a newly independent nation’s step towards the future.
In the midnight of August 15, 1947 Nehru gave his famous speech which proclaimed, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially” and the British Flag was replaced by the Indian Flag in the morning reclaiming our place, the place which defined our first struggle of 1857 as well as the last one. And now as the Prime Minister speaks from the rampart of the Red Fort on every Independence Day, in what is a formal, choreographed event, the site itself shimmers with the sheen of an inclusive memory, like a talisman.
The red sandstone which fills the whole atmosphere with a grace or what people call ‘Josh’ got adopted by none other than Dalmias who previously got a station named after them. But it isn’t just about ‘adopting’. The video uploaded on the website asks the corporates, PSU’s and other corporate entities to ‘attach’ their names to India’s Heritage.
Isn’t it amazing? Capitalism and privatisation can be so powerful that they can’t even leave alone the monuments which define us and our freedom. Today, the people of India question if India would ever be able to complete the tryst it made with the destiny while its heritage monuments are being handed over to large corporates.
Hurrah! While we are it, the Taj Mahal is also up for adoption.