Delhiwale: How peace beats politics at Raisina Hills
You’d think the nation’s power elite might sometimes be spotted in Vijay Chowk Gardens. If only to catch a breath of fresh air.
But evidently, they just don’t turn up. Even though these lovely grounds lie so close to the Presidential Palace and Parliament, not to mention the Prime Minister’s Office.
In fact, the nation’s leaders are more inclined to enclave themselves in the magnificent colonial buildings, leaving the gardens, at the foot of Raisina Hill, as a monument to peace rather than power. With their sprawling grounds, beautiful fountains, dense trees and bird songs, Vijay Chowk gardens are so tranquil that even the distant roar of traffic seems acceptable.
Not that the grassy expanse is totally devoid of humans. You may well come across bored TV crews wandering around — aware that the backdrop of Parliament and the presidential palace makes for a powerful visual in a routine telecast.
More than a century ago, a village called Raisina was “relocated” by the British to clear the way for construction of Viceroy House. Later, this lavish building was renamed Rashtrapati Bhawan after becoming the official residence of the Indian President.
So much for history. Now, as evening approaches, the world somehow feels safe despite the dire sermons of the news crews. At least, here at Vijay Chowk.