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But Lutyens' request was denied as Governor General Chelmsford felt that it would be too much of a burden on the exchequer. So even though the British were a colonial power, there were definite limits to government spending. Yet, many of independent India's legislators seem quite oblivious of this fact.

No wonder, Union Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram lamented after presenting the Union Budget for 1997-98, that every department wanted more. When I pointed out to him that leading Bharatiya Janata Party MP Jaswant Singh had criticised him for lower budgetary allocations to the defence services, he retorted:

P. Chidambaram: "This year too, if it pleases you, Mr Jaswant Singh has been extremely critical. But that is a very stock criticism which a few people make year, after year, after year."


So, modern Delhi's architect Lutyens' could not get what he wanted because Governor General Chelmsford had found his demand preposterous. Yet, the mercantile British hardly shared the same sentiments about their colony's resources.