Architecture and Politics in the Construction of New Delhi


  • Suhash Chakravarty


Essential features of the political strategy that prompted the transfer of capital from Calcutta also influenced the style of architecture and town-planning for New Delhi. The re-unification of Bengal and the transfer of the capital to Delhi must be seen as parts of a larger imperial policy. The Government of India wanted to discover a more stable public opinion than was then available in Calcutta and to use it as the pillar for strengthening the crumbling psychological sensibilities and the ideological edifice of the Raj. Threatened by a runaway Bengali opposition, Hardinge1 was in search of a fresh mandate. He sought the legitimacy of the Mughals and, accordingly, moved the metropolis of British India into close proximity to Shahjahanabad. Political considerations were reflected in the controversies and discussions around the problems of town-planning and architecture for New Delhi.