The rumpus with Nehru over Gandhi

One of my childhood inspirations was the Late Architect Vanu Bhuta - the architect of Gandhi ji’s Samadhi at ‘Rajghat’ - my maternal grand uncle. After the Samadhi itself was built, Nehru wished to surround it by expansive lawns, like a monument of India, in British colonial style. Whereas my grand uncle firmly believed that it should be a true representation of Gandhi – austere - the black granite cuboid simply rising out of bare earth. It was a fight between two architects. One, the architect of modern India and the other, a master builder of India. Nehru stuck to his views while uncle stormed out. Years later, as the story goes, he refused Indira Gandhi’s proposal to design Nehru’s Samadhi saying : You want his soul to rest in peace. 

 

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