Hate Age for Heritage ?

When the News flashed across the world television and newspapers on March 3rd, 2001 that the Taliban terrorist groups destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan by many of them gunning it down and the world was seeing a shocking pictures and 99% of them felt bad and many condemned such an act. We in India witnessed this and were equally shocked and angered to a large extent and wished that these groups would end such an act soon.

We raised our concerns against such an act and for protection of these cultural heritages. This was a common cause of hate against any groups spoiling the heritage value of the world and so we were justified in our anger. But how many of us have thought that what they did in a few hours, we are doing slowly and gradually to our own heritages ? Sounds unacceptable ?!! Yes, but that is the truth.

If you had visited the Madurai Temple or the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal recently you would know what it means to lose a valuable heritage. The Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal is an exemplary proof that pandian dynasty was one that had rich culture especially in figure sculpting and the choice of colors for murals were rich and pompous. But unfortunately what we see today is a detoriating richness.

This is a sad state with no efforts from the State government till today to renevate these priceless architecture which are part of our rich heritage from the past. Not that they could not do it, but they simply do not want to take their focus out of the capital city, Chennai. Although there was an interesting story from the National Daily THE HINDU in July 2007 about a possible renovation work at the 17th Century monument, till now that work has not taken the needful pace. And this is a sad state considering the fact that though this monument is one of the most visited in the state, still there has been no much noise from any visitors on its state.

What is more painful to note is the fact that since these buildings are not revenue generating, they are simply being ignored by the concerned department. A simple proof is the fact that the 150 year old Senate building of the University of Madras was being restored at full pace in September 2006 and this was proudly considered as an achievement of the same department that is responsible for the Madurai Palace ( Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal ).

We can easily identify the indifference by the state government on these heritage by visiting any European nation where their heritage which are well maintained can be visibly seen. The Red Cross Museum in Geneva has items related to only the Red Cross Society but is still maintained as a precious asset. The London Museum is a classic example of how much value should be given to our heritage. But when we come back to our Government Museum in Chennai, it is a sad state and a shameful sight. Most of the new migrants in Chennai still do not know if there is a museum in Chennai and most of them fail to realize the same even if they pass across the Monument.

Is it time we did something to save these or will we take it to a level of Angkor Wat ?!!

Is it not our duty to pass on these valuables to our future generations too !!

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