Opinion | Lord Curzon’s monumental plan5 min read 08 Mar 2019, 08:52 AM IST
Thanks to Lord Curzon, many of India’s monuments received a new lease of life
'Curzon will be remembered because he restored all that was beautiful in India,' said Jawaharlal Nehru
In 1899, when Lord Curzon sailed to India as viceroy, he lugged along not only his famously imperious temper but also a catalogue of administrative proposals. “The government of India," he sniffed disdainfully, “is a mighty and miraculous machine for doing nothing"—and so everything, from railway networks to telegraph rates, found itself on his corrective desiderata. A committed votary of Britain’s “civilizing mission", the man was certainly determined to leave his mark. But what made Curzon unusual even by his own overzealous standards was his concern for a subject otherwise low on the imperial programme. “In the past we have scandalously neglected this (particular) duty," complained the viceroy, “and are now only tardily awaking to it." And so, he would take a personal interest in the matter and ensure that this state of affairs was promptly rectified.