For The Cause Of The Taj

The Taj Mahal wasn’t the beneficiary of your votes, the phone companies were

The monument wasn't the beneficiary of your votes, the phone companies were If you are a true Indian patriot, send me a 100 rupees. Sounds ridiculous, right? But
that’s exactly what’s being done by one of the most ingenious yet dubious campaigns
in recent times, The New7Wonders Poll. Every medium around has been campaigning
for Indians to vote for the Taj and ensure that it gets on the list of the New 7 Wonders
of the World. By the time you read this, the Taj might even have got on to the
New7Wonders list and the media would be flashing victory messages and interviewing
all and sundry about how they feel on the Taj being chosen…

(Continued in the scanned article image on the left). Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays.

  • coolvyakti

    Campaigning for this is a good thing…but we should not get carried away with it in terms of just carrying on till we get it into this “category” of monuments – and then claim victory. There is NO VICTORY if this does happen or does not.
    What is a more pressing need, is to ensure proper tourist services are provided in and around not just Taj but all great monuments and ancient structures all over India…which all lie in a dilapidated state, and have the potential of educating not just Indians but also to draw in tourists in terms of show casing the art, history, culture, architecture etc that has remained hidden till now, due to ignorance and apathy.
    What kind of educational experience do we provide at Taj …. we are very ready to charge “foreign tourists” and “NRI” – Rs 500/- or more to step in – but what do we offer them in terms of the “experience”? What do people really get to learn and experience from their visit? Do we even have clean toilets, drinking water and other basic facilities in and around Taj? More improtantly, have we had the damn guts to really study the history and clues in the Taj structure, to lay to rest the controversies surrounding it – that it was never built by Shah Jehan? Why are we blindly accepting that? Why is it that Govt of India has sealed off large sections of Taj – since independence? The same holds for many other structures, like the Red Fort. Since the author is from Pune….what about Sinhgarh? Shivaji is treated like God in Pune – but one of his famous forts is lying in ruins….there is no educational experience around it – people infact come there to eat and drink … and have a good time.
    I would really like to work towards, us the people/citizens/history buffs take back these monuments from the Govt’s control and turn them into places that provide a good learning experience for whomsoever comes to visit.

  • Campaigning for this is a good thing…but we should not get carried away with it in terms of just carrying on till we get it into this “category” of monuments – and then claim victory. There is NO VICTORY if this does happen or does not.
    What is a more pressing need, is to ensure proper tourist services are provided in and around not just Taj but all great monuments and ancient structures all over India…which all lie in a dilapidated state, and have the potential of educating not just Indians but also to draw in tourists in terms of show casing the art, history, culture, architecture etc that has remained hidden till now, due to ignorance and apathy.
    What kind of educational experience do we provide at Taj …. we are very ready to charge “foreign tourists” and “NRI” – Rs 500/- or more to step in – but what do we offer them in terms of the “experience”? What do people really get to learn and experience from their visit? Do we even have clean toilets, drinking water and other basic facilities in and around Taj? More improtantly, have we had the damn guts to really study the history and clues in the Taj structure, to lay to rest the controversies surrounding it – that it was never built by Shah Jehan? Why are we blindly accepting that? Why is it that Govt of India has sealed off large sections of Taj – since independence? The same holds for many other structures, like the Red Fort. Since the author is from Pune….what about Sinhgarh? Shivaji is treated like God in Pune – but one of his famous forts is lying in ruins….there is no educational experience around it – people infact come there to eat and drink … and have a good time.
    I would really like to work towards, us the people/citizens/history buffs take back these monuments from the Govt’s control and turn them into places that provide a good learning experience for whomsoever comes to visit.