Modi Unveils Kartavya Path: Statue of the great freedom fighter to be installed under the canopy of India Gate, making it a new centerpiece of the iconic avenue
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a section of the redeveloped Central Vista from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, which has been renamed from Rajpath to Kartavya Path. He has also unveiled a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
In his address on this occasion, PM Modi said, ‘Netaji Subhash was the first Prime Minister of Akhand India, who had liberated Andaman before 1947 and hoisted the tricolor.
PM Modi said, “If India had followed the path of Subhash Babu after independence, at what height would the country be today! But unfortunately after independence this great hero of ours was forgotten. His thoughts, even the symbols associated with him, were taken away were also ignored.”
The renaming of Rajpath is said to be in line with PM Modi’s Independence Day commitment to “remove traces of colonial mindset”. According to the government, it marks a shift from territory to duty, public ownership and empowerment as a symbol of power.
PM Modi said, “How can Rajpath make the rulers realize that name is Raj? Rajpath is a symbol of oppression and slavery. Today the architecture has changed. Now when MPs, ministers walk on the path of duty, they will realize their responsibilities. “
The Rajpath witnessed the dawn of India’s independence, and hosts the annual Republic Day celebrations. This ceremonial boulevard running from the Raisina Hill Complex to India Gate was first known as Kingsway, a landmark in the city of ‘New’ Delhi built after the British Raj shifted its capital from Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1911 was the central axis.
The entire section has been revamped as part of the government’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project. The area around India Gate has not only been decorated but the ambiance will also change – towards a more organized setup. The Amar Jawan Jyoti – a tribute to the martyred soldiers – which was a prominent feature of India Gate, was shifted to the National War Memorial earlier this year.
The centerpiece is the grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, located under the canopy of the India Gate. Constructed from a monolithic block of granite weighing 280 tonnes, the statue is 28 feet tall. A team of sculptors spent 26,000 hours of “intense artistic effort”.
The government has allotted five dedicated vending zones, where 40 vendors will be allowed in each, which means that the usual rush of ice cream vendors around India Gate will now be replaced by a regulated system. It is one of the most popular places for locals and tourists alike. Two shop blocks with eight units each have also been built near India Gate.
To ensure there is no theft or damage to the new facilities – signage, lamps, fountains – there will be heavy deployment of police and 80 security guards for at least the next few days.
This is just a part of the mega project. Central Vista’s redevelopment includes a new Parliament building, a common Central Secretariat, a new Prime Minister’s residence and offices and a new Vice President’s Enclave.