The Guardian on Friday provided platform to ’eminent’ sculptor Anish Kapoor to foment Hinduphobia and peddle propaganda against the incumbent Indian Government. In his article, Kapoor compared the NDA Government at the Center to ‘Hindu Taliban’ and claimed that the Central Vista Project was an effort to ‘de-Islamify India’.
Anish Kapoor claimed, “Unsurprisingly, the Islamic origin of these buildings offends the current regime in Delhi. It is why the tyrant Modi and his henchmen are destroying it.” In reality, not a single heritage building will be demolished for the project.
Also, the language used here is enough indication of the animosity Anish Kapoor bears towards Narendra Modi. Given the animosity, it is only natural that he will reach wildly incorrect conclusions.
Kapoor further continues, “It is an abomination that Modi’s hate-filled campaign to de-Islamify India is allowed to continue via the destruction of a world-class monument. Astonishingly, the UN heritage forum is silent and world heritage bodies have kept their mouths firmly closed.”
The UN heritage forum is silent because not a single heritage monument is being demolished. Also, the UN does not have any locus standing to comment on Indian internal matters. Given the factual inaccuracies in the article, it is quite astonishing that it passed the editorial muster of The Guardian.
Another matter to be addressed here is the claim that the buildings have ‘Islamic origins’. It is a matter of fact that the buildings to be demolished were built after independence, so how could they have ‘Islamic origins’? Or is it his claim that the Congress rule essentially represented Islamic rule over India?
Also, buildings like the Krishi Bhawan, Shashtri Bhawan, Nirman Bhawan are quite ugly rectangular edifices, not emblematic of great architecture by any measure. Thus, his overbearing fondness for them is quite amusing indeed.
Other gems from the article
Anish Kapoor also proceeded to call architect Bimal Patel a Nazi. He wrote, “Modi has appointed third-rate Bimal Patel as his architect. Patel will design its replacement much in the way that Albert Speer followed his Führer’s lead, but, of course, Patel does not have an iota of Speer’s talent.”
Is this The Guardian’s policy now? To provide platform to the unedited ramblings of a deluded mind to make libelous accusations against a professional? Kapoor did not stop there and compared the Central Vista Project to the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
The claim is so ridiculous that one can only laugh at it in derision. The Central Vista Project has been cleared to proceed by the Indian Judiciary itself. Furthermore, the need for a new Parliament was first highlighted by the Congress party.
Without any evidence, he claims, “The Indian courts have been pressured to acquiesce to this idiotic scheme and journalists and other commentators have been intimidated.” Kapoor also said that Narendra Modi is the “Aurangzeb of our times”.
The Mughal tyrant is infamous for his Jihadist ideology which motivated him to demolish Hindu Temples. He further said, “Modi’s Hindu Taliban needs monuments to itself in order to establish cultural acceptance and domination. Like all fascist-leaning politicians, Modi hopes that by controlling the images at the heart of the nation, he will form a new vision of his India, which places him at the centre alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel.”
The rant concluded with, “The destruction of the parliament buildings represents the taking-over of the Indian psyche by a fascist regime. Its ultra-nationalist vision is of Hindu dominion over all Indians at any price, and Modi as its architect will rule India with his right hand raised in salute, palm open, mimicking the Hindu god Vishnu – among others.”
Not the first time Anish Kapoor has ranted against the Central Vista Project
It is not the first time that the ’eminent’ sculptor has ranted against the project. In May, he wrote for The Guardian, “The high court of India has been coerced into giving the go ahead to this hair-brained scheme in the last few weeks without consultation or due process.”
That particular rant included gems such as “Modi and his fascist government have commissioned architect Bimal Patel to redesign this central vista. This without consultation or any understanding or regard to the importance of Lutyens design.” And “Architecture is an effective propagandist tool.”
At least, he was honest enough to admit that his attachment towards the Lutyens architecture is due to its propaganda value.
Not the first time Kapoor has called BJP ‘Hindu Taliban’
The sculptor has been calling the BJP ‘Hindu Taliban’ since at least 2015. It was in 2015 that he said, “A Hindu version of the Taliban is asserting itself.”
He had said in the article for The Guardian, “India is a country of 1.25 billion people, including 965 million Hindus and 170 million Muslims. We have a long tradition of tolerance and, despite differences, have managed to pull our huge country together. But the government’s militant Hinduism risks marginalising other faiths and tearing apart these bonds. Many of us dread what might then happen.”
Anish Kapoor supports Teesta Setalvad
Interestingly, and perhaps not so surprisingly, Anish Kapoor also supports Teesta Setalvad. In the 2015 article, he said that Setalvad was being ‘harassed’ and ‘threatened’ with sedition charges. He described Setalvad as someone who “still seeks justice for the victims of communal violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002”.
Perhaps, he is not aware, or is deliberately feigning ignorance, but Setalvad is accused of siphoning off the funds meant for the Gujarat Riot victims. In 2015, the CBI had conducted searches at her residence and office related to the matter.