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WSJ columnist asks for a building more beautiful than Victoria Terminus in Mumbai built after 1947, netizens oblige

Beauty is subjective and Victoria Terminus is indeed a fine piece of architecture. However, to say that it was just the British who built India and 'left behind a civilisation' would be stretching it too far, even for Brown Sepoys wearing colonial goggles.

On September 12, WSJ Columnist Sadanand Dhume came out in support of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson over his statement where he had claimed India progressed only because of the British and said India failed to build any architectural marvel since the British left. So much so, Dhume went ahead and challenged Indians to show one building built post Independence that was as ‘beautiful’ as the Victoria Terminus train station in Mumbai.

Carlson’s racist rant following Queen Elizabeth II’s demise

In his 5-minute-long monologue on Fox News, Carlson said, “When the US government withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years, we left behind airstrips, shipping containers and guns. When the British pulled out of India, they left behind an entire civilization, a language, a legal system, schools, churches and public buildings, all of which are still in use today. Here’s the train station the English built in Bombay, for example. There’s nothing like that in Washington, DC right now, much less in Kabul or Baghdad.”

While netizens were already fuming at Carlson’s rant, Dhume came out in his shining armour to defend the brits and challenged people to show photographs of a building built after 1947 that is ‘more beautiful than VT’. He said, “Folks are attacking Tucker Carlson for saying independent India hasn’t built anything to match the Victoria Terminus train station in Bombay, completed in 1888. Fine. But if he’s wrong, then please share a photo of a building built after 1947 that’s more beautiful than VT. Thanks.”

Netizens flooded the internet with architectural marvels

Netizens took it upon themselves to show Carlson and Dhume some of the architectural marvels built in post-independence India. Here are some of them:

Akshardham Mandir, Delhi

Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex in Delhi is a Hindu temple that was opened to the public in 2005. It is a spiritual and cultural campus that displays the vast history of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality and architecture.

Lotus Temple of Baha’i House of worship, Delhi

The Lotus Temple of Baha’i House of worship was dedicated to the public in December 1986. It has a notable Lotus Flower-like structure and has become a prominent attraction in the city.

Somnath Mandir, Gujarat

Though the history of Somnath Temple goes back centuries, the most recent construction was done post-independence after the ruins of the mosque built in place of the temple were pulled down and shifted to a nearby place. The construction of the temple was completed in 1951 and then-President of India Rajendra Prasad performed the installation ceremony of the temple.

Vidhan Soudha, Karnataka

The foundation of Vidhan Soudha was laid down by then-Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1951. The building was completed in 1956. It was built in a style known as Mysore Neo-Dravidian. To date, it is considered one of the most beautiful buildings constructed post-Independence.

Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Prem Mandir is a Hindu temple located in Vrindavan. It is maintained by Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat, an international non-profit, educational, spiritual, and charitable trust. The temple was open to the public on February 17, 2012.

Statue of Unity, Gujarat

The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue located in the state of Gujarat. The construction was announced in 2013 by then-Chief Minister Narendra Modi to mark the beginning of his tenth year as CM of the state. It was dedicated to the public in October 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Gujarat.

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

People from unexpected quarters also came to let Dhume know about brilliant architectural designs in post-Independence India.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad was established in 1961 and the campus, obviously came up after that and has been an iconic structure and matter of pride for all Indians.

India, the civilisation that attracted British and barbarians before them

And while Carlson and Dhume talk about the legacy the British have left behind, they both forget the civilisation that India has been even before being invaded by barbarians that actually attracted them in the first place.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted pictures of splendid temples of India some of which were built centuries before the British came to India.

Many netizens shared images of the rich and glorious temples dating back centuries. Beauty is subjective and Victoria Terminus is indeed a fine piece of architecture. However, to say that it was just the British who built India and ‘left behind a civilisation’ would be stretching it too far, even for Brown Sepoys wearing colonial goggles.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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