The political pundits have dismissed Mayawati’s Rs 684 crore Noida park as a colossal waste. It is colossal but it is not wasted. Her idea of monumentality demands excess and exaggeration. Power has to symbolise conspicuous waste. Narendra Modi does it one way, the Congress does it another way. All Mayawati is effectively saying is I can do it bigger and better.
Mayawati’s search for monumentality is interesting. The Indian democratic state hardly builds monuments except as PWD structures. Our great monuments are either Mughal or colonial, as witnessed by the Taj, Red Fort or Lutyens’ Delhi. Our idea of memory does not extend to monuments.”