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The Maya in Monuments: Musings on the Makes, Masks and Mirages of Modern Dalit Memorials in NCR and Lucknow

Author(s): Siddhartha Chakraborti | Anurima Chanda

Journal: Coldnoon : Travel Poetics
ISSN 2278-9642

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 133;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Dalit Monuments | travel and architecture | Mayawati | BSP | Maya Ambedkar Park | Lucknow | Noida | Delhi | NCR | Brahminism | Dalit architecture

Citation:Chakraborti, Siddhartha and Anurima Chanda. “The Maya in Monuments: Musings on the Makes, Masks and Mirages of Modern Dalit Memorials in NCR and Lucknow.” Coldnoon: Travel Poetics 2.4 (2013): 133-152. Web. Abstract:The commotion over the creation of “Dalit Monuments” and the encouragement of Dalit Tourism in Uttar Pradesh by Chief Minister, Mayawati brought about a wide range of reactions within and beyond the intelligentsia. The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Uttar Pradesh Governments were widely criticised for their inability to address the central issues of employment, land redistribution, wider health and education. In this backdrop, the creations of ‘new’ monuments were seen by some to be a mere symbolic assertion diverting public money for unnecessary extravagant expenses. Because of the vigorous debate, in a way, the monuments are visited only in a premeditated and mediated manner, having themselves become a part of an imaginary order because of their constant representations This essay and accompanying photographic presentations attempts to ‘visit’, ‘read’ and follow the story behind and beyond the making of the monuments. It demonstrates how the monuments themselves have now become mirages – fleeting inaccessible hopes of sanctuary in the deserts of injustice, or how through an ironical resurrection, the age old hegemony of brahminism has turned the solid brick and concrete monuments of inspiration, into traps of Maya (illusion).
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