BANGALORE: Concerned Bangaloreans have come out strongly against demolishing the 200-year-old Balabrooie guest house in the heart of the city.
The government proposes to demolish it to make way for a club house for legislators.
On Thursday, a group of members from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, and Bygone Bangalore met at Ravindra Kalakshetra to oppose the government’s proposal. Another meeting is being planned at 11 am on Sunday at the guest house, the group said, inviting everyone to attend it.
Thursday’s meeting discussed the condition of the building.
“The government should be the guardian of ancient buildings and not the destroyer. We cannot become an ultra modern city at the cost of our old monuments. Balabrooie guest house is one of very few colonial buildings left in the city, and it is in very good condition,” a group member said.
The guest house, located on a 14-acre spread containing 100-year-old trees, has had several high profile guests like Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore, and was the home of Mark Cubbon, who was the chief commissioner of Bangalore in 1850.
Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), an action group, also joined the protest by posting a petition to the Chief Minister on its Facebook page asking him to intervene and cancel the demolition order.
Terming the proposed legislators’ club as a ‘pleasure palace’, BPAC says, “The driving force of a city may be its economic success, but its heart and soul are its heritage and history. Perhaps it is inevitable that some of our landmarks must make way for today’s realities, but is the sybaritic pleasure of a few more important than preserving our history?”
The petition had 350 supporters by Thursday evening with 150 more to go for its target of 500 signatures.
Several other Facebook pages also cropped up by Thursday, providing awareness about the proposed move and urging people to exert pressure on the government to cancel the decision.
https://www.facebook.com/balabrooie and https://www.facebook.com/savebalabrooie were two such pages. a British era symbol