“In the city,” says carl schorske, writing of Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, “… the truth of industrial and commercial society had to be screened in the decent draperies of pre-industrial artistic styles. Science and law were modern truth, but beauty came from history” (1981, 45). Quotations from the past were equally the mark of architectural styles that were forged in colonial and postcolonial societies, as history became a resource for defining new ideals of beauty. If the retreat into (classical European) history was a striking feature of public architecture in colonial India (Evenson 1989, 99–109), an attempt to command a long and respectable lineage of authority equally marked the efforts of Indian nationalists in the early post-independence period.

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