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Hijacking Indian Icons Hindutva Style

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By Aijaz Zaka Syed What’s with this obsession of powerful men with grand monuments? The biggest, largest and tallest…the more insecure a leader, the more grandiloquent is his vision of his legacy. Perhaps Freud could explain the psychological causes behind these magnificent obsessions and preoccupation with size.
Egypt’s pyramids So Egypt’s pyramids had been more than mere last abodes of pharaohs and other members of the ruling class; they were the ultimate symbols of power and glory of a disappearing order that was supposed to inspire awe even in death. The grand mausoleums of Muslim monarchs like the iconic one belonging to emperor Humayun in Delhi and magnificent seven tombs of Qutub Shahi dynasty in Hyderabad probably fall in the same category.
All Giza Pyramids Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal, the ultimate monument to love, is also a mausoleum and houses the remains of Shah Jahan’s beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. The Mughal emperor who also built Delhi’s majestic Jama Masjid and the Red Fort and went nearly crazy pining for his late wife was finally buried next to his love.
Matinee idol NT Rama Rao, who swept to power riding an unprecedented wave of popularity, had had his share of obsessions. He had 33 statues of various historical figures and some obscure men and women from Telugu history erected along the picturesque Hussainsagar Lake in Hyderabad. Except for poet Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan and Qutub Shahi King Tana Shah, none of them had anything to do with Hyderabad or its grand past.
NTR is also remembered for the massive statue of Buddha, carved out of a single monolithic rock, that he had erected in the middle of the lake at a huge cost to the exchequer and environment. He came up with the idea of a giant Buddha statue, again touted as the tallest in the world, after a visit to New York’s Statue of Liberty.


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