Giraj's Blogs

Vande Mataram, King George and some Sprinkling

Names of prominent roads in Delhi have changed with regular frequency in the recent past with each name-change attracting its set of bickering (this blogger has tried to keep track of most of those – often lampooning the lack of logic of such moves). Now Dilliwalahs have been served a fresh name-change controversy. This time it is of a college affiliated to the University of Delhi. Earlier this year Dyal Singh College (Evening) was converted in to a regular shift (day) college. A couple of weeks back the governing body changed the college’s name to Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya. Unlike the other name-change adventures where the opposition to name-change was quelled as irrelevant or out-shouted by those in power – this one seems to be sizzling. The chairperson of the college reportedly termed it as ‘a clarion call to nationalism’ while those opposing it called it a violation of norms of transfer agreed by the University when the earlier custodian, a Trust, handed over the college to it. Intriguingly, in opposing the move, Captain Amrinder Singh and the Badals find themselves on the same flank – something that even the Bhakra Nangal could not do.

Around the time when the Trust had set up Dyal Singh College at Lahore (it was shifted to Delhi post partition) King George V ascended the throne in Britain. On his visit to India soon afterwards King George V made the proclamation to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. The British followed up this pronouncement by getting Edwin Lutyens to design New Delhi. So Delhi, which already had many cities within its geographical boundaries (Mehurali, Siri, Tughlqabad, Jahanpanah, Shahjahanabad etc), got yet another one in the form of New Delhi. No marks for guessing who replaced the likes of King George, Firoze Tughlaq, Khilji (the one Bhansali made famous and NCERT could not!), Prithviraj Chauhan, Shahjahan as the ‘builder of Delhi’ – the uninspiring DDA. While on DDA, the smog of Delhi finally had their tall, grotesque of a building at ITO – Vikas Minar, finally finding utility. The roof top of this DDA building was used to sprinkle water to settle particulate matter in the polluted air and had the Dilliwalahs highly amused.

StateOfDelhi Suggests that this winter you take a trip to Coronation Park near Nirankari Colony along NH 1 in North Delhi. There is ample parking space here (which is Dilliwalahs first worry – so that’s sorted) and the winter sun shines here with gay abundance as the trees in the park are non-intrusive (quite unlike the British). It is here you will find the statue of King George V and also an obelisk with a plaque about the coronation of King George V as Emperor of India. This King George’s statue was meant for the canopy opposite India Gate and was brought here in the 60s. The emperor has some more nobles in stone for company but there are no plaques on these statues to tell us which one is who. One of the prominent signs here, however, is a graffiti depicting one Irfan’s love for a Radha. Dilliwalahs find really weird places to express their love. And with the focus on Padmavati – no one’s complaining.


  1. Vande Matram Mahavidalya sounds like a Sanskrit school in Varanasi.
    The King George and other statues are like a wedding dress packed away in a trunk. It does not fit any more but you do not want to throw it away. Except in this case the wedding (installation of the statue in the intended place) never happened. We also have not been able to decide whether we love the Brits of hate them.

  2. Much ado about nothing…. What is there in the name.
    We have started calling the National Capital, Delhi as Delhi NCR but how does it make a difference…..The same continues as the same old place full of filth( both smog and overflowing drains ) and filthy people….. ruthless and heartless.
    Names have changed , the character remains the same earlier we had Bhagats, Tytlers and Sajjan Kumars.
    Now we have Sisodiyas, Kejriwals and Kalutoshs.
    This placed called Delhi needs to be nuked and rebuilt again, otherwise there are no hopes

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