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New Delhi: Historic Trail of Khirki Village is likely to be back in focus

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw

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Tomb & mosque near Khirki. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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The historic significance of Khirki village will be back in focus on Wednesday, July 20, with a triple treat of art, poetry, and food at the Khoj Studios.

The highlight of the evening will be an architectural walk through Khirki village by artists, giving a glimpse of its historicity, which used to be the crown of the Tughlaq city of Jahanpanah in the 14th century.

The ‘Decoding Khirki’ walkthrough will be conducted by Polish artists Simone De Iacobis and Malgorzata Kuciewicz, collaborators, and fellows at Khoj studio.

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“Khirki is a sample of reality, a village among other villages, a fluid urban context. It contains an array of well-known, formal, informal and formalized solutions that are representative of Delhi as a whole. Once you get past the visual spectacle, it offers ‘jugaad’ and the aesthetics of urban decay, the district offers room for a thorough observation of pure architectural elements,” said Kuciewicz.

“Jaali panels, space frame structures, chaajja roofs and ‘shade step tectonics’ are just some of the features we are going to explore in an hour-long tour over the low rise-high density structure of Khirki”, added De Iacobis, a member of the Centrala design group.

The artists are part of the exchange programme between Khoj workshop and the A-I-R Laboratory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org
Khoj Studio. Image source: khojworkshop.org

While the walkthrough will take place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the evening will also host an exhibition by Iranian artist Hoora Soleimani and Indian-Iranian artist Soghra Khurasani, which will highlight issues of human and individual freedom.

“I’m working on three projects during my residency. First is about what I’ve been doing in Iran about absurd weights, I’m going to go through people’s mental weights in a video-based approach. Second is a photography-based cultural and religious comparison of women’s freedom in the two countries. The third one will be a drawing and interview-based study of labourers in Delhi”, said Soleimani.

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For Khurasani, her work brings memories from Iran. “Young Iranians are not eager to remember their recent past. The country has gone through the revolution, war, and a religious takeover, because of which today’s youth faces restrictions from their own government in many circumstances. I am working on some objects and memories I brought from Iran; by showing them in my own ideology I will try to decode present situations by reading the past”, she said.

The third element of the evening, not but the least, will be a poetry reading session by upcoming poet Akhil Katyal. Brought together by Rustom’s Cafe and Bakery, it will bring poetry and food together for the aficionados. (IANS)

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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Hindus don’t oppose anyone, don’t aspire to dominate: RSS chief

“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)