New Delhi, Dec 11 (): It was on December 12, 1911, that then Emperor of India George V proclaimed Delhi as the capital of the British Raj, shifting from Kolkata, thereby returning to the city its lost glory.
The foundation stone for the building of a new city in Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of the Delhi Durbar at Kingsway Camp on December 15, 1911 and New Delhi, as it is called, came out of the architectural brilliance of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Delhi has traditionally been the seat of a series of empires and regimes that have ruled India since over 3,000 years back.
And so Delhi lives on, accommodating within itself multiple cities, multiple images and multiple identities. It was destroyed many times, and every time it rose from its ashes like the proverbial phoenix. In the meanwhile, Delhi keeps growing, scaling new heights and acquiring new aspirations.
Each of the empire has left behind an indelible imprint on the heritage of Delhi, that has housed no less than eight cities over the centuries, and the 100 years of the latest city marks an opportunity to celebrate the continuity of this rich habitation.
The centenary of the establishment of New Delhi will be marked by year-long celebrations, being planned by the Delhi government and other cultural agencies like the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
In an effort to trace the history of Delhi and its culture, an exhibition called ‘Dastan-e-Dilli’, showcasing archival pictures and lithographs, will be set up at Azad Bhawan in IP Estate. The exhibition of archival pictures will chronicle Delhi’s history through the centuries, from the time it was the capital of the Mughal Empire. The exhibition will be thrown open to the public on December 14 and will go on till December 21.
The opening of the exhibition will be followed by ‘Mehfil-e-Dilli’, a dance performance by Shovana Narayan and thumri recital by Dr. Kumud Jha Diwan.
A book on the history of seven cities of Delhi and detailing the account of how the present city was constructed will be released by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
The year-long celebrations will actually kick off in January when the Ministry of Culture has lined up a number of events that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city.
With all these events planned and many more to come, the city will indeed be celebrating its 100th birthday in the true spirit of the occasion.