The Congress has been attacking this policy as a sell-out. If angry Congressmen had only bothered to make a phone call, not to NDA’s tourism ministers, but to one from their own times, Ambika Soni, they wouldn’t be looking so silly.

A file picture of the Red Fort, New Delhi
A file picture of the Red Fort, New Delhi © Hindustan Times


4) The Indian Left-libertarian loves the government: They want government out of their own lives entirely; mention Aadhaar and they jump. But everywhere else, they love to have the Bharat Sarkar and the same bureaucracy they keep cursing. Why should culture, history and archaeology be the monopoly of the state? Why can’t private capital, enterprise and efficiency get involved? Surely, they have no problems cadging sponsorships from the same “evil” corporates for their lit-fests, generous wine and cheese laden evenings, gifts, travel grants, track-2, social sciences conferences (all paid for by sponsors). The intellectual-liberal community lives on handouts from Ford, McArthur, Rockefeller, Bill and Melinda Gates and our own Tatas and other such corporations for funding scholarships, conferences, new universities and even independent new media. All that’s kosher because it is coming to us, the deserving. Talk Red Fort and it is, watan ki aabru khatre mein hai, hoshiar ho jao (national prestige is at stake, so battle stations). Ask the angry ones the last time they went to Red Fort since probably their school bussed them there, sucking at lollipops.


7) And finally, for the last twist of the knife. Many critics point out the dangers of giving great monuments to the Dalmias given that one of that complicated and large family’s uncles was charged in the Babri demolition. Since they also seem to love swadeshi Archaeological Survey of India and government-run museums, they should meet the current director-general of the National Museum in the capital, Dr Buddha Rashmi Mani. This retired additional director-general of ASI got the job in 2016 until the age of 70, “or further orders”.

Dr Mani’s claim to fame: He led the excavations at Ayodhya that “proved” the existence of the Ram Temple underneath.