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'Indian architecture is far superior than any other in the world'

November 12, 2013 15:50 IST

'Indian architecture is far superior than any other in the world'

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'This is because we are a blend of many and we take the best from each.'

'Our ancient architecture is the best in the world. The Taj Mahal is known as the most beautiful structure in the world. Though it was built by the Mughals it incorporates the best of Indian architecture.'

'If there is one thing I could change, I would change the architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan to represent the grandeur of India and not its colonial masters who are long gone,' says Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities.

I love the huge diversity we see in India. This lends a rich texture to its society, architecture, music, languages and food among others.

In this diversity India is unique. Nowhere in the world can you see such diversity.

Our economy has done well, our defence forces are among the best in the world. Our greatest achievement is that we have a working democracy which not only is the largest in the world but it encompasses our diversity so well.

Our democracy is on a strong foundation. We enjoy our rights and our freedom. Very few countries in the world enjoy so many rights or are as free as us.

What makes me unhappy is that instead of celebrating our diversity we are seeing communal riots. We have to celebrate our diversity and not simply think of tolerance.

Where we should be celebrating, we are fighting.

Suspicion, hostility and hatred marks our attitude towards each other. Violence has led to murder.

Our strongest point has become our weakness. This pains me a lot.

If there is one thing I could change in the country, I would change the architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Even Hyderabad House (formerly a residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, now used by the government for engagements with foreign dignitaries) in Delhi is more majestic.

Indian architecture is far superior to every other architecture in the world. This is because we are a blend of many and we take the best from each.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is too hotch potch. They have taken ideas from different parts of the world and made it drab. Many young relatives of Presidents have said it is uncomfortable to live in.

Domestic comfort is kept in mind in Indian architecture. Rashtrapati Bhavan embodies colonial architecture.

Our ancient architecture is the best in the world. The Taj Mahal is known as the most beautiful structure in the world. Though it was built by the Mughals it incorporates the best of Indian architecture.

I would rebuild Rashtrapati Bhavan to represent the grandeur of India and not its colonial masters who are long gone.

Wajahat HabibullahWajahat Habibullah is Chairman, National Commission for Minorities and former Chief Information Commissioner. A former IAS officer, he served two tenures in Jammu and Kashmir.

His father, the legendary Major General E Habibullah, was the first commandant of the National Defence Academy, India's premier institution for military training.

Wajahat Habibullah spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.

The Complete Series: Why I love India


Image: Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at the Taj Mahal in January 2012. Shinawatra was the chief guest at India's Republic Day.
Photographs: Reuters