Delhi: From the Capital of the Dead to the City of Culture

Time has come to change Delhi to suit our expectations of carrying forward our legacy of a country which takes pride in its ancient history, culture, heritage, traditions and heroes


Recently, I had gone to New Delhi, the National Capital. Delhi, in the days of Mahabharata was known as Indraprastha, the kingdom of the Pandavas. Those were the days when Dharma ruled supreme. But what I saw of the Delhi of today was something which I would like people to ponder over…

DELHI IS THE CAPITAL OF THE DEAD: Everywhere I went around Delhi, every nook and corner, had tombs, Durgahs, ‘samadhi’ sthals and mausoleums. When you go to the capital of a country, you would want to see life, see vibrancy. But unfortunately, by design, our capital city Delhi has only the dead being respected. Instead of land being used for showcasing our culture, our heritage, our pride, we are actually showcasing DEATH. Hindus burn the bodies to reinforce the truth that life is momentary and the body should not be given more importance than the soul. But in the land which gave birth to Hindu Dharma, we have a situation where the dead bodies or memories of the dead ‘personality’ is given so much importance and land, that one is simply surprised as to what our political leaders actually learnt from this civilization at all.

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DELHI REVELS IN HOLDING ON TO THE MEMORIES OF THE RAPACIOUS INVADERS: In a radius of at least 100 km around Delhi I am certain one wouldn’t find a single Hindu temple which is over 100 years old. But you would find tombs, gardens, mosques of our Islamic invaders like Humayun, Lodhi, Jama Masjid, and more. I know that the moment the demand for renaming a road is placed, there is furore – but if one roamed around Delhi, one would be forgiven for thinking that only Islamic invaders ever ruled this land. We are suffering from a deep rooted “Stockholm Syndrome” from which there seems to be no escape. We are actually justifying the rule of our invaders without even realizing it. If this is continued in our Capital, how are we then expecting change in the rest of Bharat? When our Capital city epitomizes the rule of those who tried their best to destroy our ancient civilization, can we hope that in any part of Bharat we can still hold on to our ancient civilization, with pride?

DELHI IS ALL ABOUT SUPERFICIAL BEAUTY WITH A HOLLOWNESS WITHIN: Delhi is a city of gardens, very well maintained, beautiful gardens. The lawns are beautifully trimmed, the trees are uniform in shape and size, the flowers are well manicured and a thing of beauty. I doubt whether any leaf or flower in this capital city has any superior purpose. It is just a ‘touch me not’. Once you go beyond the outer layer of gardens, there is nothing within – just a grave or a ‘samadhi’ (in quotes, because no one has actually attained Samadhi in these places). These are not the graves of realized persons. They are the hallowed places of people who have held on to their power and position thanks to legitimate or illegitimate means. Even the ‘Qutub Minar’ and the famous ‘Iron Pillar’, both of which were actually ancient Hindu monuments are now shorn of beauty and piety and are just hollow objects in front of the gardens there. Huge empty spaces with well-trimmed lawns. Is this what ASI is supposed to use their funds for, one wonders? The spaces could be used to make huge museums which actually depict our struggles to keeping this ancient civilization alive or to showcase our inherent wealth of heritage and culture.

The Capital of a land should show our pride in our ancient culture, our vast heritage, our inherent wealth of knowledge … but alas, our Delhi does none of that.

  • When being borne to a familial legacy is what is showcased, is it then any surprise that our current politicians and their children also flaunt that instead of flaunting their actual contribution to society?
  • When exterior persona is given more importance than the wealth of character, is it then any surprise that as a Nation we forgetting about our roots?
  • When we are held hostage to memories of our invaders, is it then any surprise that the rights of the Hindus are being held hostage to the appeasement tactics of our politicians?
  • When the death and dead bodies of rulers and politicians are given more importance than their deeds, how then can we hope to have a leader whose deeds and actions are worthy of being remembered?
  • Beautiful exterior, shallow inside – is this what we want our Parliament to be too?
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Delhi needs to change to suit our expectations of carrying forward our legacy of a country which takes pride in its ancient history, culture, heritage, traditions and heroes. The time is NOW!


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