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May 10th, 2012

Sorry, Delhi, you really, really don’t deserve your heritage

Yesterday I bemoaned the fact that the poor Burmese refugees have taken over a 13th century monument.  I suggested that they should rather be housed in a park or an open space like the Ram Lila grounds.  The wicked woman in me wanted to suggest that they take over the pavement outside one of our pampered Lutyens-bungalow-at-the taxpayer’s-expense-politicians.  That would get the problem sorted out pronto, I can tell you.  NIMBY to the power of goodness knows what.

God knows what damage that poor monument will suffer at the hands of these equally poor people.

Swift on the heels of yesterday’s story regarding the monument in Vasant Kunj, today brought more woeful tidings on the heritage front.

Painting monuments green and white ?  Where, oh where, oh where is any semblance of security or protection for the country’s heritage ?

These monuments may well be in a village which grew up around them, whether centuries ago or – very often – only recently, but that is simply no excuse for defacing them.  Would they deface a nice shiny new mosque or temple with equal impunity ?

I think all the city’s (perhaps even national) monuments should be privatised, with companies given huge tax breaks for restoring and maintaining them.

‘cos clearly the current governmental system isn’t working.

3 comments to Sorry, Delhi, you really, really don’t deserve your heritage

  • Catriona

    Agree agree!

  • I wonder why Richi Verma (reporter) is focusing on these 92 monuments only, whereas we have a list of 1300+ monuments prepared by the then Superintendent of ASI in early 20th century. Today ASI has only 178 of them protected. And about re-encroaching and painting the monuments, there is a huge war going on between ASI and a particular religious sect there the former is trying to protect and the latter is trying to encroach all the Islamic structures of Delhi (and probably entire India). I have photographic evidences of how ASI and INTACH cleaned and beautified Mehrauli Archaeological Park and how it was systematically destroyed back by a specific group in order to tell ASI that we rule here.

    Sad but true!

    And about the notification, the official process is so long and cumbersome, that I fear the total destruction of few of these historic buildings before anyone finally signs the paper.

  • christine

    Dear Vikramjit. I was re-reading some old posts on Delhi’s heritage and came across this comment of yours. Would you like to do a guest post for me on this issue ? I will email you as well.

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