Monday, July 05, 2010


Bangalore Mirror draws up a list of places in the city where a monument for our uniformed martyrs can thrive under the Ashoka and Gulmohar’s generous shade
Manasi Paresh Kumar

Patriotic sentiments and environmental concerns needn’t be mutually exclusive. Though their immediate emotional resonance may vary, preventing lasting damage to the ecosystem is as important as commemorating those who died protecting our borders and our freedom. The one is about the future, the other about the past. Right choices made in the present bridge them.
That is why Bangalore Mirror consistently opposed the construction of the National Military Memorial in the Indira Gandhi park because it would have involved significant damage to the city’s already alarmingly depleted green cover. Six acres of the park were dug up and work on the war memorial was on in full swing despite gathering protests.
We were vindicated when last Thursday, the state government belatedly decided to shift the proposed National Military Memorial from the Indira Gandhi park. First part of our job is done. It’s now our responsibility to give creative and concrete suggestions about where the war memorial can actually come up.
From the beautiful Bangalore race course and the sprawling Jnanabharati campus to the abandoned NGEF factory, the sylvan surrounds of the Art of Living ashram and the historical Freedom Park, we look at various places where the National Military Memorial can come up. Memorial to our bravehearts Here are ten places in Bangalore where the National Military Memorial can be built without affecting our lung spaces

B’lore University Campus
Inspiring young minds is certainly one of the the primary objectives of a war memorial. More than 4,000 students go to the 1,100 acre Jnanabharati Campus every day. The elite National Law School is next door.

NGEF factory
The factory on Old Madras Road was recently liquidated by the government and the 143 acres will be an ideal location for the war memorial. With a metro station to soon come up in the vicinity, access will not be a problem.

Near Bannerghatta Park
Despite the distance from the city centre the National Park has always been a big attraction. Starting from J P Nagar 7th phase onwards, various locales can be considered for building the war memorial.

Near Art of Living Ashram
The sprawling AOL campus is home to more than 4000 devotees who live there besides thousands of devotees who come there every day. The National Military Memorial close to this ashram can tap into the international crowd.

Close to B’lore Intl Airport
If getting tourists to celebrate the memory of the brave heroes of our state is an objective what better place than close to where they enter the city. The government has lot of land near the Devanahalli airport which can considered for the National Military Memorial.

Next to International Exhibition Centre
The International Exhibition Centre on Tumkur Road has more than 10 acres of government land abutting it. This place is currently being used by the Centre for temporary parking. A great number of foreigners throng this place and we can be sure that a war memorial here would never be short of visitors.

Freedom Park
This is the site of the old central jail where many eminent freedom fighters were jailed in the pre-independence era. The Freedom park is being envisaged as a kind of Hyde Park, a space for symbolic protests. That and the history will lend so much additional resonance to the war memorial.

This 450 acre estate of famous artist couple Devika Rani and her Russian painter husband Svetoslav Roerich near Kanakapura is currently taken care of by the state government. Its sylvan surroundings and art galleries will be an appropriate embellishment for the tale of our heroes.

Barde Barracks
This army land has been lying vacant for years and there can’t be a more prime location. Soldiers would run a war memorial better than civilians in terms of both efficiency and the sanctity. Moreover, in any memorial of this kind, some sophisticated military equipment has to be on display. The army certainly wouldn’t be willing to put them under civilian control. If it comes up on army land they can guarantee the security of such equipment and also its maintenance.

B’lore Turf Club
With the state government deciding to shift the derby to the outskirts, this 85 acre property in the heart of the city could be the perfect location for the memorial. The club house can be converted into a museum and there is ample parking space to accommodate the weekend crowds that are bound to visit the memorial. The best part of it all is that costs will be minimal and virtually no trees will have to be cut.


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