On International Antiquities Day, the people of Agra do not show pride in the rich heritage
Although the Archaeological Survey of India has declared free admission to the monuments, the locals are busy in the high-voltage election campaign of the municipal corporation. ASI officials said the day is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of preserving cultural heritage and protecting historic sites around the world.
The day was first proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 and later approved by UNESCO in 1983. Each year, a theme is chosen to focus on a specific aspect of cultural heritage. In recent years, topics have included sustainable tourism, cultural landscapes, and indigenous peoples.
Heritage preservationists say the day provides an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity and promote the importance of preserving historic monuments, monuments, and sites. It also serves as a reminder of the need for continued efforts to protect and preserve these important cultural resources for future generations.
Agra is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage. It is home to many monuments recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri and Ittamudula. Each of these ruins is a testament to the richness of the city’s history and culture and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Although Agra does not celebrate the day, conservationists and environmental activists once again highlighted the failure of the Archaeological Survey of India to free the chain of monuments in the city from encroachments that were deemed a major threat to the health and safety of those. valuable properties.
“Increased visual pollution was another cause for concern,” warned environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya. He added that the tall buildings that appeared in all parts of it seriously distorted the original atmosphere around many structures.
Bhattacharya added that the local bodies had nevertheless failed to restrict illegal constructions around these buildings, thus damaging the architectural integrity of the city.
Almost all the Mughal monuments here have been diminished by encroachments. At a time when space is restricted and overcrowded and thus destroys the beauty of historic buildings, these encroachments have now reached such levels of pervasiveness that the survival of some landmarks is at stake.
Surrounded by the splendors of the Taj Ganj district, the Taj Mahal has been able to breathe easy due to Supreme Court rulings seeking to preserve it; International concern for its safety has also helped preserve the Taj Mahal.
Other, less well-known ruins, however, have not seen such luck. Delhi Gate, near Raja Mandi station, finds itself threatened by new constructions, mostly private nursing homes and garages that did not exist before. The county authorities failed to take action against the attackers.
World Heritage Site Fatehpur Sikri Complex, the abandoned capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar, is still threatened by the illegal activities of the mining mafia, who have been operating fearlessly, even though the High Court has issued a categorical directive to the district authorities to stop them. mining in the area.
The city of Taj has many monuments that fall under the protected list. Over the years, due to government indifference and corrupt practices, no action was taken against the people who built homes and places of worship around these ruins.
The main reason why the historical monuments of Agra face threat from encroachment is the complete indifference and lack of emotional involvement in its heritage.
“People of Agra do not show any special pride in their history or heritage, rather these structures are seen as a sinister that stops the course of development and progress,” says Sonal Mittal Singh, Vice President of the Bragg Mandal Heritage Preservation Society.