NDMC passes resolution to rename Rajpath to Kartavya Path

Prime Minister Modi on Thursday will unveil statue of Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate

September 07, 2022 02:40 pm | Updated 10:09 pm IST

MoS for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi with NDMC Chaiman Bhupinder Singh Bhalla (right) and member Satish Upadhyay at a press conference after a council meeting on renaming of Rajpath as Kartavya Path, in New Delhi on September 7

MoS for Culture Meenakshi Lekhi with NDMC Chaiman Bhupinder Singh Bhalla (right) and member Satish Upadhyay at a press conference after a council meeting on renaming of Rajpath as Kartavya Path, in New Delhi on September 7 | Photo Credit: PTI

The Rajpath and Central Vista Lawns in New Delhi will now be known as “Kartavya Path” after the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), in a special council meeting on Wednesday, approved a proposal to rename the iconic stretch, according to a public notice issued by the civic body. 

Referring to the renaming, Union Minister, and NDMC member, Meenakshi Lekhi said that the name “Rajpath” reflected a “colonial mindset”, which had to be done away with since “India adopted a democratic system after independence”.

During British rule, Rajpath was known as Kingsway. 

Ms. Lekhi said that the change came into effect “immediately” after the council meeting, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – who is also a member of the NDMC – was not present at the meeting. 

File photo of the 2022 Republic Day parade in progress at the Rajpath, in New Delhi

File photo of the 2022 Republic Day parade in progress at the Rajpath, in New Delhi | Photo Credit: PTI

NDMC Vice-Chairman Satish Upadhyay, former BJP’s Delhi unit president, said that the stretch and area from India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhavan will now be known as “Kartavya Path”. 

The decision to rename the iconic stretch – which comes a day prior to the inauguration of the revamped Central Vista Avenue – came after the civic body received a letter from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), dated September 1, requested for the change.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will inaugurate the “Kartavya Path” and unveil a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate, where a hologram of the late freedom fighter was installed earlier this year, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Standing at a height of 28 feet, the statue, which is 65 tonnes in weight, has been carved from monolithic granite stone by sculptor Arun Yogiraj.

“The Queens Way was renamed as Janpath while Kingsway was only translated into Hindi as Rajpath. However, after 75 years of independence, it is felt that the name of Rajpath needs to be changed in tune with the values and principles of democracy and contemporary New India. Rajpath implies the mindset of the idea of a king who rules over the ruled; whereas in the independent democratic new India; it is the public who are supreme and the government and public servants are here to serve the needs of the common public,” said Ms. Lekhi.

A senior official at Central Public Works Department (CPWD) said that vinyl films will be pasted on signages in 14 locations, highlighting the renaming. 

“The work will be completed before the inauguration of the revamped Central Vista Avenue, which is scheduled for Thursday,” said the senior official.

The PMO, in its statement, highlighted that the renaming of the iconic stretch symbolises a shift from the “erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to Kartavya Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment.”

“These steps are in line with Prime Minister’s second ‘Panch Pran’ for New India in Amrit Kaal: ‘remove any trace of colonial mindset’,” the PMO’s statement read. 

It added that the “Rajpath and adjoining areas of the Central Vista Avenue” witnessed an increasing traffic of visitors which led to “stress on its infrastructure” that lacked basic amenities and adequate parking space. 

“Further, there was inadequate signage, poor maintenance of water features and haphazard parking. Also, a need was felt to organise the Republic Day parade and other National events in a less disruptive manner with minimal restrictions on public movement. The redevelopment has been done bearing these concerns in mind while also ensuring the integrity and continuity of architectural character,” the PMO’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry said it would hold a festival with 500 dancers from across the country after the inauguration, from 8.45pm on Thursday. The festival would be continued on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A 10-minute drone show on Netaji’s life would be “projected at India Gate” at 8 p.m., from Friday to Sunday. Both the activities would be open to the public for free, it said. 

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