Visitors on Kartavya Path want Modi to take back PoK, heights on LAC with China

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By Alka Jain

New Delhi, September 9: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled Kartavya Path and the renovated Central Vista, the people thronged the coveted area for a first in-person look, and seemed dazed with the grandeur.

For the people strolling on Friday evening, the Kartavya Path was no tongue-twister, and they wanted Modi to erase more signs of the colonial era in the national capital.

With multi-coloured lights shining on the leaves of the mighty trees and squares and triangles of the laws hosting the people of Delhi, the Central Vista came alive with the old vigour of the national capital.

The people hailed the decision of the government to “decolonize India” by inaugurating the ‘Kartavya Path’ (formerly known as Rajpath). The renovated pathway stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate.

‘Kartavya’ featured in Modi’s Republic Day 2022 speech, in which he urged the citizens to walk on the “path of duties”, while rekindling the “rights vs duties” debate in the civil society.

People called it a positive change and a good initiative to remove the symbols of colonialism from the country.

However, they also felt that changing the name of a place cannot create a big impact and push the citizens to perform their duties, hence, the government needs to take more steps to ignite a sense of nationalism and the importance of duties in the development of the country.

“I am feeling proud to come here. PM Modi has taken the great initiative of renovating this iconic place. I think the names of some other places which are still being recognized by the name of Britishers should be changed such as Benito Juarez Marg. All the British names should be named after our leaders,” said Surajit, a Delhi resident.

He also said that the word ‘Kartavya Path’ will remind people to abide by their duties.

“This name will always remind people to perform their duties and contribute to the development of the country. However, the government should also abide by its duties and work for the nation. PM Modi has brought many positive changes to the country like the abrogation of Article 370, building PMs Memorial, carrying out Balakot air strikes, etc. I think the foremost duty of the Indian government is to occupy PoK and all major heights on LAC with China,” he added.

Ashish, a UPSC aspirant, who visited the ‘Kartavya Path’ for the first time, stated that the government has chosen the perfect name for this place.

“After the independence, the Indian government has done an exact translation of this pathway. It was called ‘Kingsway’ during British rule, but later, was changed to ‘Rajpath’ after India got freedom in 1947. The origin of the name was still not Indian, that’s why the government has given it a complete Indian name. Now, it is representing our country,” Ashish said.

Further, he asserted that the Indian government should take more initiatives to create awareness among people about the importance of duties, because changing the names will not create a big impact.

Another visitor, Sonu Tyagi, argued that it was important for the government to change the name of some places to create a sense of belongingness to the country and history.

“It was very crucial for us to change names of some places here, because it brings a feeling of belongingness to the country, history and culture. For example, Prayagraj was called Allahabad. However, its original name was Prayagraj only. The Yogi government has again renamed the city Prayagraj, which must have reminded the people of its history somewhere. Our government is on the right path to decolonizing the nation,” Tyagi said.

(Author is part of ‘Become a journalist’ programme of The Raisina Hills)

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