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Not surprisingly, the erstwhile friends, Lutyens and Baker, became bitter enemies. Three fourths of a century later, personal enmities still influence the course of politics and affairs of the state. Consider what happened on the 30th of March 1997 to India's then Prime Minister, Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda. After ten months in power, Deve Gowda was ousted from his position: not by opposition parties but a party which supports the multi-party United Front coalition he had headed, namely, the Indian National Congress.
At the time I interviewed Deve Gowda at the Prime Minister's official residence on Race Course Road, more than a fortnight after he was unseated, he had still not recovered from his sense of betrayal. When I reminded him that Congress President, Sitaram Kesri, had severely criticised him and called him incompetent, he was vitriolic in his response.
|H.D. Deve Gowda: "If any sensible man talks this then I can convince him. If a person who pretends to sleep, you cannot make him to wake up. But if a person is really sleeping, then I can make him wake up."|
Deve Gowda left little doubt in anyone's mind who he was calling a deceiver. But returning to the story of Lutyens. History records that the architect of modern Delhi had as a last resort appealed to the then Governor General, Lord Chelmsford, for permission to raze to the ground what is now known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan and build it again at a higher level.