Our country has a variety of monuments-protected and unprotected, world heritage centres, etc. But there is a striking resemblance among all of them. It is not their architecture or the material with which they are built, but that the structures are often used by lovers to confess their love for each other and make it public.
Lovers deface the walls of the structure by drawing hearts and writing names, probably hoping that their love will last as long as the monuments stand! So Taj Mahal is not only a symbol of love but also its testimony. Besides lovers, many of the less important and hence ill-kept monuments are home to homeless beggars and little is done to stop them from converting the premises of the monument into full-fledged households.
Little did the rulers, back then, envisage that one day; the architectural masterpieces they constructed would be used for graffitis or as homes for the homeless. Thanks to the British, many of our monuments have been preserved and the government is earning crores through tourism. The money earned should be used to preserve these monuments. We, as cultural products of India, do not have a sense of history, and in many ways we disregard what our ancestors have given us. We’d rather not learn about what the Ashoka or the Mughals did and this is reflected in the way we treat our monuments that lend beauty to our overcrowded and polluted cities. The materialism that modern culture has instilled in us has blinded us to the poetic beauty of our monuments, which hold many secrets of our past.
So, when a controversy like the one concerning Jodha-Akbar comes to fore, one wonders what the protestors are really fighting for. They might not even know the historical facts which they are purportedly supporting. This takes away the credibility of their grouse. History, as a subject in school has always been a nightmare for students and they are tested not for their understanding of history but its memorization. With such an approach to the subject and the mechanical nature it has acquired consequently, the beauty and glory of our history has been forgotten. It’s time we recognize our history and give its tangible remains the respect and importance they deserve.
[image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/betta_design/2093518816/sizes/m/]