Describing it as a symbol of “slavery”, an MLA of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra has demanded that the iconic Gateway of India in south Mumbai be renamed as “Bharat Dwar”. “This monument is a symbol of slavery under the British rule,” said Raj Purohit, a local MLA. “By renaming it we will be paying tributes to the martyrs of freedom struggle,” he said, speaking to reporters in Mumbai. “I met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today and submitted a letter stating my demand. He said he will look into the matter and forward my letter to the chief secretary,” Purohit said. “This monument served as ‘Get Away from India’ for the British after the first British ship sailed from here to Britain,” he said.
“We have renamed Bombay to Mumbai, Malabar Hill to Walkeshwar and Victoria Terminus to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Why should this monument, which reminds us of slavery under the British rule, not be renamed,” Purohit said.
One of the most distinguished landmarks of Mumbai, Gateway of India was built in 1924 and is now a popular tourist spot. Located at Apollo Bunder waterfront, the monument, an arch of yellow basalt and solid concrete, overlooks the Arabian Sea.
Its foundation was laid in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. It was inaugurated 13 years later, in 1924, and is a beautiful confluence of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture.