Protests against painting of historical Vidhan Sabha
By Bobby Ramakant
May 16, 2009
The author is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director General’s WNTD Awardee 2008, and writes extensively on health and development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil society has lodged a written complaint against the painting of a part of the 85 years old Vidhan Sabha building (state council house) by the Estate Department of the Mayawati-led government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) state in India.
Magsaysay Awardee (2002) Dr Sandeep Pandey was part of the delegation to the UP state Governor TV Rajeshwar. Dr Pandey is also a member of the national presidium to Lok Rajniti Manch (People's Politics Front - PPF). He submitted a memorandum to the state Governor signed by social activist Naveen Tiwari, retired Director-General of Police Ishwar Chandra Dwivedi, retired Inspector-General of Police SR Darapuri (Lok Rajniti Manch candidate from Lucknow parliamentary constituency 2009), retired IAS SN Shukla, and retired Justice Kamleshwar Nath.
The painted portion stands on the left of the main building facing Bapu Bhawan. The portion, say historians, is as old as the main building and it was always painted peach to match the stones of the former.
"We, the citizens of Lucknow , would like to register our protest with the way in which the exterior of Vidhan Sabha building is being shamelessly altered. It is a threat to the historic building as well as it is destroying the asthetic beauty of this building" said the memorandum delivered by Dr Sandeep Pandey to the state Governor TV Rajeshwar.
"The State Government is already indulging in arbitrary acts of construction of various monuments, after demolishing other constructions – old and new – and felling green trees, which have become illegal after the repeal of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal Act, 2007, by the Vidhan Sabha itself. This act of painting the Vidhan Sabha building is part of the larger sinister plan to change the landscape of the city for no valid reason" said the memorandum further.
"We request you to bring this madness to a stop and preserve the cultural heritage of the city as well as save scarce resources of public exchequer which ought to be spent on things more pressing" appealed the citizens' memorandum to the Governor.
In another news published in The Indian Express, historian Yogesh Pravin said "Lucknowites are hurt by the action of the government". The blueprint of the building, he said, was prepared in the early 1920s by well-known architect Swinton Jacob in the Roman-cum-Gothic style. The foundation of the building was laid by Sir Harcourt Butler in 1922 and it was built by the end-1920s. "It is the face of Lucknow and I have never heard of, read about or seen any portion of it being painted white. This is as good as killing the beauty of the structure," Pravin added (source: The Indian Express).
The UP State President of the Indian National Congress, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is also contesting the Lok Sabha seat from the prestigious Lucknow parliamentary constituency this year, has waged a campaign to protect the historical Vidhan Sabha building. She also led a delegation to the state Governor of which Dr Sandeep Pandey was a part of.
Citizen News Service (CNS)