Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial row goes global

Memorial row goes global
Netizens from across the globe are signing an e-petition against the proposed memorial

The protest against the proposed National Military Memorial at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Park is finding supporters across the globe. The website m/1/preserve-public-parks-inbangalore, which is running an online campaign against the commercial encroachment of parks, is seeing posts from the Indian diaspora and foreign nationals.
People from countries like Belgium, The Netherlands and Estonia have signed the petition against the project. Suggestions about an alternative site have also been coming in. Frances Sims of Pennsylvania writes, “Please find another place for the war memorial; somewhere that’s already developed, yet run down enough that you could fix it up to look stunning. It would really help the memorial shine!”
Shyla Lakshminayaran, a Bangalorean living in London for the last four years, laments the change she sees every time she comes back to the city and says, “The defence land in the city has always been the greenest in the city. How logical is it to encroach upon a park to remember them? It is an oxymoron!”
M P Rajeev Chandrashekar’s pet project snowballed into a major controversy and Bangaloreans from across the city began questioning the wisdom of a war memorial in a designated park.
The issue took a political turn when Governor H R Bhardwaj expressed his displeasure over the project.
Despite the matter being in the courts, the BDA began work on the project, only to stop it midway owing to public pressure.
Another website, Bengaluru Patriots Society, has begun an online petition in support of the war memorial project.
The introduction claims that the project will be a “... green, lush, forested park, a solemn, sombre inspirational space in the heart of Bangalore” which will “...let the untold stories of valour and patriotism of our martyrs be told.”


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