Historian Ramachandra Guha on Sunday said in a tweet that he would no longer be writing his fortnightly column in the Hindustan Times, explaining that the newspaper had decided not to publish his article about the Central government’s Central Vista project to reconstruct an iconic section of New Delhi.
“For print and online readers of my regular ‘Past and Present’ column in The Hindustan Times –for this Sunday’s issue I had written on the folly and vanity of the Central Vista project,” Guha said in a tweet. “The newspaper has censored the column.”
The Rs 20,000-crore Centra Vista project seeks to demolish and rebuild several historic buildings in a four-square-km area from the gates of Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate. On March 20, the day after Narendra Modi announced a people’s curfew to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued a notification amending the land use of five plots to allow the project to proceed.
Many have pointed out that the money could be put to better use to fight the pandemic.
In a separate tweet, Guha said the editors that he worked with were “happy to publish the piece” but had been overruled by the management. “I was given the option of junking this piece and continuing the column. I have chosen to stop writing for them altogether,” he added.
The five plots in the Central Vista plan include a site where a new parliament house is proposed to be constructed adjacent to the existing building, and another plot on which a new residence for the new prime minister is to come up.