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#CubbonParkUlisi or The Weight of Public Opinion

Yesterday, Team #HeritageBeku decided an impromptu meetup/.#concerncollective at #CubbonPark. The online #petition had just crossed 10000 signatures in 5 days.

Cut to today- a sunny Sunday morning with lots of people in the The Park.. #CubbonParkUlisi Posters are up, some have made & brought their own. there are dancers, skaters, walkers and dogs and the #GoGreencycling group is a riot of a color. Joggers, dog parents walk up to ask questions and interact. The sun is out and the day & people are buzzing.

The powerful ‘#WeightOfPublicOpinion’ was perhaps the overriding theme that underlay ‘#HowGreenWasMyPark meet up at Cubbon Park today. The old fashion weighing scale or #tarazu set up - with #CubbonParkUlisi on one side and #IDontCare on the other- was a powerful visual showcase of public sentiment on a beloved lung space.

#CubbonMemoryProject ..It was great to see small groups of people sharing their memories, heritage stories of the park, clearly anguished at the onslaught of construction. Photos expected soon. Check out #ArundhatiNag’s heart tugging pic with her granddaughter in the Park ; and #SGVasudev with his..

#HeritageExpertise The ploggers, walkers, cyclists, poets, painters all flowed through while Heritage Luminaries who are Cubbon Park experts like Mr Satya prakash Varanashi, Arun Pai, Suresh Moona, Aliyeh Rizvi and Bimal Desai spoke to various small groups about Park history and fascinating snippets as well . An impassioned Bimal Desai harked back to their original #SaveCubbonPark campaign in 1998 and the avoidable tragedy of being back two decades later to rewrite the same story. It was somber to know that this dark history was repeating itself. Naresh V Narasimhan weighed in as did Mr Raghunandan (he also brought his vintage friend Swami - and I’m afraid due to centenarian status , we slightly broke the law to do so 😉) Suresh Moona’s fascinating insights on the Cubbon Park fountain, it’s history & it’s dedication to - parrots- caught our attention. Tune in to more! But the formidable Centenarian Freedom Fighter Shri #Doreswamy at the dais who spoke with such impassioned simplicity, toughened our resolve to always be #guardiansofheritage.

#NextGen The #Parikrma School children in their earth uniforms of bright green, listened to the stories , happily chorused out #CubbonParkUlisi, held us spell bound with their young wisdom and desire to be change makers. We loved their spontaneous rap song written on the fly! You should listen. A cyclist said ‘ I got goosebumps listening to them ’ These kids give us HOPE.

This is the city we know and we helplessly love & as so many of us lingered in the bright sunny Sunday commons, as a part of a larger Bengaluru ethos, the need to sustain it just got some steel. Our Bengaluru is not as strong as we think and she needs us . The discreet bicycle tring-tring & the bird sounds, lazy buzz of bees in the Park took us back in time, reinforcing that feeling .

The #seriousmessage that went out was the need to avoid triggers to such citizen outpourings like this , by having the much overdue #HeritageLaws in place & the necessary #heritageguidelines in the #TownAndCountryPlanning Act. #HeritageBeku & other groups have made this earnest request repeatedly in letters and in the Draft #RMP31response . We don’t know why there is such ominous inaction. This MUST move forward now .

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