Govt highlights steps taken in 8 years to free country of 'colonial mindset'
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
NEW DELHI: With the historic Rajpath in the heart of Delhi getting a new name, "Kartavya Path" (path of duty), the government has linked it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for freeing the country of a "colonial mindset" as part of the "five pledges" he invoked on the Independence Day.
The government said the move is part of a continuous and conscious effort by the prime minister to shed the baggage of colonial legacy and colonial symbols and replace those with Indian traditions and strategic thought.
In a background note, the government highlighted numerous steps taken in this direction in the last eight years:
* In line with its intention of getting rid of any remnants of the colonial past, Modi has decided to rename Rajpath and the Central Vista lawns as "Kartavya Path". Rajpath is the Hindi word for "Kingsway", which was given in the honour of King George V.
* On September 2, Modi unveiled the new ensign (Nishaan) of the Indian Navy that he said "removed the remaining traces of slavery and a colonial past" on the country's warships by doing away with the St George's cross. The move is befitting the rich Indian maritime heritage.
* The Cross of St George was removed from the Indian Navy's ensign and replaced with an ensign inspired by the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Renaming Race Course Road as Lok Kalyan Marg
* The prime minister had announced his intention to abolish the images of the colonial era during his Independence Day speech on August 15. However, the process had already started in 2016 when Race Course Road was renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg. The prime minister's residence is at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.
Redundant colonial-era laws repealed
* Since 2014, the government has repealed more than 1,500 old and obsolete laws. Most of these laws were remnants of the British era.
Merger of the railway budget with the annual Union budget
* In 2017, breaking a 92-year-old tradition, the government merged the Rail Budget with the General Budget.
Presentation of the Budget on the first day of February
* It has also done away with the colonial-era presentation of the Budget on the last day of February. The budget is now presented on the first day of February.
Grand statue Of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate canopy
* In January, Modi inaugurated a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate. A statue will soon be installed in the canopy where a statue of King George V was installed earlier. It was removed in 1968.
Replacement of 'Abide with Me' from the 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony
* During Republic Day this year, the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony's concluding piece, "Abide With Me", was removed and Kavi Pradeep's seminal piece, "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon", was introduced.
* Earlier in 2015, the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony saw some major changes wherein Indian musical instruments such as sitar, santoor and tabla were added for the first time. The retreat was thus infused with an Indian flavour.
Merger of Amar Jawan Jyoti with National War Memorial
* Amar Jawan Jyoti, the "eternal flame", was merged with the flame of the National War Memorial (NWM).
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands renamed
* In December 2018, Modi took a page out of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's book and renamed three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. Back in 1943, Bose had suggested that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively.
* In a tribute to the freedom fighter, Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
Biplobi Bharat Gallery inaugurated at Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
* The prime minister recently inaugurated the Biplobi Bharat Gallery at the Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata. In what has been named after an erstwhile British empress of India, Modi inaugurated a gallery displaying the contribution of the revolutionaries in the freedom struggle.
Teaching in mother tongue reflected in NEP-2020
* The prime minister has been a proponent of teaching in mother tongue, as reflected in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. This is a marked departure from the focus mainly being on English-based education, the wheels of which were set in motion during the British time.
PM Narendra Modi pushed for self-attestation of documents
* 2014: In a bid to save the common man from hassles, Modi pushed for shifting to self-certification of documents and pitched for a minimum use of affidavits.
List of other remnants of colonial past erased by Modi government
* In 2015, Aurangzeb Road was renamed as A P J Abdul Kalam Road.
* In 2017, Dalhousie Road was renamed as Dara Shikoh Road.
* Teen Murti Chowk was renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk in 2018.