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Preserve monuments for tourism purpose

The Maharashtra Government has approved historical forts not in the Archaeological survey of India protected list will be used for promoting tourism. A monument takes a considerable amount of real estate and funding. Even with unlimited funds you are limited by available real estate for building/erecting monuments. We want to keep maintaining cultural heritage because this is the happiest way to keeping in touch with the dead. By performing a certain dance, singing a song, eating certain foods we get close to our ancient cultures. It helps us to remember who we are and who we are answers a lot of questions about our current behaviours and even physical or medical conditions. Maintaining cultural heritage reminds us the bad past as well as the good. With the approval of Heritage Tourism people can celebrate via food, arts, fashion, beauty and literature.

Continuing the cultural heritage will build self-confidence in their children about identity and lifestyles. Others believe it is a way to appreciate what our ancestors did for us and by giving thanks we are encouraged to continue to thrive and prosper. A society will come together to build a monument that has meaning and speaks to (hopefully) the entire populace. It says a great deal about what the citizens value and what they consider important. This move will give push to the local economy. There are about 350 forts in Maharashtra and the state government has already budgeted over Rs 500 crore for its up gradation. The forts are blessed with beautiful landscape and have history and tradition and can be used for tourism that can generate revenue, job opportunities and adequate funds for maintenances. These forts will also be used as wedding venues and heritage hotels, the local flora and fauna will be protected and no permanent constructions in the forts will be allowed. Social events, which fit into the fabric of Maharashtra’s political life, will be allowed. Not all are happy with this idea of allowing marriages and parties in forts and monuments because it will become a routine event place than the heritage value to it. Some are of the opinion that,

our monuments are the standing examples of our heritage and culture. Everybody is aware of this, yet some people just don’t seem to care. So,allowing marriages and party like event we might invite many challenges ahead.

Scribbling on walls rather engraving on the stone with “xyz loves xyz” and spitting, peeing on walls is nothing new. There are monuments, which do not have any security all around the monument because of its size and this leads to ignorant people destroying the monument. There are many forts in Mumbai, which are ignored and isolated, and those have become drug peddlers den. Some even do flesh trading; some have built small shacks inside and residing the way they wish to be. I don’t know if it’s a misuse of a monument but I do know that’s not how people are supposed to behave. And nobody is there to control them or to ask them to leave. They were not even there to look at the monument. They don’t even know how important are these places towards our heritage. It’s sad that only the presence of security and cameras all around keeps people from destroying the monuments. That might sound like an odd way for a historic preservationist to answer a question about preserving the past. But preservation of any sort- be it cultural or societal values, historic properties, or wildlife and natural landscapes- ultimately depends on what the people who compose that culture and society value. That is not only hard to pin down to start with- after all, we’re seven billion people and counting, all with different ideas and backgrounds- and it also changes over time. The recent (and certainly ongoing) furore over Confederate monuments in India is a perfect example. There is a document called the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Evaluation of Historic Properties. It contains guidelines that determine if an object is historically significant. And so some cities have actually ignored these monuments that may be historically significant in of them, because those monuments no longer represent that city’s values. Some cities have opted to leave these monuments in place and forget. And that same idea goes for anything we can “preserve” – nature preserves, historic houses, all the wonderful works on displayed in the form of structure. They provide context. They link us in the present- and those in the future- with historic periods of history, with important people in history, with our ideals, with past architectural styles and ways of living, with important events in history.

Monuments to men, women, and events reminded whoever put them in place of someone or something they deemed extremely important. They symbolised pride of place and time. Today, we might see them as anachronisms, as belonging to the past. Yet their meaning, their symbolism probably influenced our history, and therefore our current lives. Instead of seeing these monuments as parts of forgotten history, figure out how that person or event changed the world. You don’t have to be a history buff to learn from the past, only willing to see beyond what is happening today. Instead of keeping these heritage structures for marriages, party and ceremony they should be maintained for tourism purpose, they should be maintained for education purpose they should be kept open for exhibitions and excursions.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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