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The Coronation Ground at Delhi

A forlorn rarely visited place

Was the proposed site of the Parliament
complex and of New Delhi itself

Below - the Flag as it was under the British.
The Indian Flag as it was under British rule. Note the crown and below it what was called the Star of India.
Sir John Lewis Jenkins - C.S.I.,Indian Civil Service, an Ordinary Member of the Council of the Viceroy and Governor-GeneralSir Guy Fleetwood-Wilson - K.C.B.,K.C.M.G.,an Ordinary Member of the Council of the Governor-General


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive,
Stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them,
And the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Note : Only the 2 busts carry any identification. The Viceroys (below) must have been so well known that there was no need to engrave their names.

Unknown Viceroy - 1. You cannot ignore the fancy robes. They all contain the STAR OF INDIA which is in the centre of the flag above.This one maybe Reading (Lord). Unknown Viceroy - 2. The clothes are very impresssive. I took these pictures when the Temperature was above 42 degrees C  and I pitied even the marble of the statues. A Kurta would have been so much better. But then in those days the British used to say - clothes maketh the man. That was true even for blockheads :).

Want to know more about the Viceroys Governor-Generals and the structure of Government of India under British Rule ? Then click here . This will clear a few myths . That the British united India . They united only half of India ( or less). The booty ( conveniently named revenue ) was collected from all of India though. India was really made a unit only at Independence when the "Princely States " were dissolved. Why is this important ? .. Because very little changed after Independence (within Government offices ). The Babus and the Faujis and the Judicial paraphernalia could not wait to step into their shoes .... :).It was a "collection sans returns" equation which still persists (since it is so favourable to those who collect). It is also the done thing to quote laws and rules - without embarrassment - dating from pre-Independence times. ... Motor Vehicles act of 1935 .. Cantonments act of 1922 ..Old Grant of 1835. etc... Worse the Indian Penal Code written in 1833(~) by Macaulay, and implemented mechanically in 1865(~), after lying for decades in dusty shelves.

Unknown Viceroy - 3 could be CurzonUnknown Viceroy - 4 the oldest statue.

Lets not split hairs, it is Ok to say that the system "lock stock and barrel" is a legacy of the East India Company(!). Our half-baked democracy ( the legacy of the departing crown ) could only deliver the right man as Prime Minister when the system malfunctioned. Every few years we are given the opportunity to choose from imbeciles and criminals to represent us, and yes .. LEGISLATE!!. To add insult to injury they are called leaders by our free press. Not many years back during some election or the other a Bank Teller put it very appropriately .. " Aji yeh to hamari kismet hai , ab to hanson par kavvye raj kar rahen hain". Amen to that.

If you want a guided tour of the Coronation Ground Site in Delhi then leave a message for Nigel Hankin at the gates of the British Embassy and book a time (Rs.2000). He has no phone and there is no other way to contact him. ( Or search the net for Nigel Hankin for more details ).

Does this represent the current scenario?

Unfortunately yes

60 years later it is high time we confronted facts. This is in fact true it is just that we are not aware of it. This is a picture painted in 1912. This fawning obseqiousness was never ever prevalent in the people at large - though it still exists in 'official' circles( the main beneficiaries of the Raj ). They are still around let us call them back :) . They are not even prepared to tweak the system a bit to make it more appropriate it to modern conditions. For example what is wrong with having the same sort of Police clearance for MLA and MP hopefuls as is required for obtaining a passport even for 5 year olds? Another one, how difficult is it to pass a law retaining a party in Government for the full term irrespective of the Dal Badal drama which continues throughout thus giving leverage to insignificant clusters.

An Article about Nigel Hankin. Someone who can give you a personalised tour of the dreary Coronation Park. He may ( unlikely ) even know the name of the statues on the pedestals.

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