A hall, a history and neglect - enter the Bradlaugh Hall. Inaugurated after the departure of Charles Bradlaugh by Surinder Nath Banarjee of the Indian National Association in 1900, the hall has been many things. But most remember it as a symbol of revolution.
The hall has been associated with Charles Bradlaugh, Bhagat Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Ajeet Singh. As part of Gandhi's non-cooperation movement, Lala Lajpat Rai founded the National College inside the hall to impart quality education to the Indians, who did not want to join British institutions.
Graduates of the National College included Bhagat Singh. The 1920's was marked by speeches against the Simon Commission and a speech by the famous Mohan Roy, founder of the All India Communist Party. The hall that played a central role in the independence of India for half a century saw a complete turn of fate after the creation of Pakistan.
After independence the hall was reopened as the Milli Technical Education Institute, a fall from its grandeur and a reflection of the priorities of the new state. Later, a dispute between the directors of the Institute emerged and one took possession of the hall and rented it out to private academies.
Finally, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) took possession of the building claiming to be the legal owners of the property, and it has been closed since 2009.