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Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
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Chandigarh Diary

The Chandigarh of Nehru and Corbusier has almost become a curiosity for a stream of visitors from the West who continue to see him as a giant of 20th century architecture.

Chandigarh Diary
Chandigarh Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A Brand New Map

The year 1947 was India’s Annus Horribilis. From March that year, murder and mayhem stalked the Punjab. By autumn, Sikhs and Hindus had been cleaned out of the western districts. The great city of Lahore became a stranger to us. The giant Nilokheri Refugee Camp was the new metropolis of the distressed. A government of a kind found a few offices in Solan and Shimla bungalows. In this state of despair, Jawaharlal Nehru offered divided Punjab two dreams:  the Bhakra dam and a brand new city. The Bhakra dam was started to give new hope to the Sikh peasantry. And the Punjab irrigation department began to build it with a religious fervour. There were no thoughts of PP (public-private) models then.

There were many arguments about the kind of capital Punjab should have. Timid hearts suggested a little expansion of Jalandhar or Ambala. Nehru boldly determined to...

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