It seems that we do not care for our monuments. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) the government body that is responsible for preserving our monuments thinks so. The body has come up with disturbing revelations. 35 of the monuments that are under the care of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have disappeared. Even ASI does not know where these have gone.
The same information was revealed in an answer in Parliament on March 12th. Among the monuments that have virtually vanished are pre historic site in Mysore, an ancient building in Nanital, a 12th century temple in Rajasthan among a host of others.
These monuments have virtually vanished and are not visible despite earnest efforts made by Archaeological Survey of India to find the same.
A sad reality is that 12 of these monuments that have disappeared virtually are in Delhi which is and has been the power centre of India since ancient times. Uttar Pradesh comes close enough with eight monuments vanishing from public preview. Jammu and Kashmir and Uttrakhand account for 2 lost monuments each and
It is a serious question though as to how can some monument vanish into thin air. The answer comes from no one else than SK Mitra, director of excavation and exploration in ASI. He pointed out these monuments might have been lost to encroachments, modern construction among other reasons.
ASI has a tough task at hand and has already begun finding these monuments. The government body might be able to trace a few of these but chances are bright that it will not be able to account for all of these. Administrative problems too come in way of Archaeological Survey of India whenever the government body embarks on any mission leading to finding any monuments that have vanished from the public preview.
The districts in which these monuments are located have been reorganized into various blocks and their administrative set up has been altered a lot. The locations of these monuments as mentioned in the older gazettes have changed quite literally making it a tough task for Archaeological Survey of India to find the same.
This brings us to the imperative question of if we care enough for our monuments and what significance we attach with our history. The government on its part needs to awake to the reality that these monuments are our national heritage and much needs to be done for conserving the same. More often it is seen that minimal amount is allocated for the upkeep of the same and adequate attention is not paid, even when it is found that their condition has deteriorated.
Our tourism is linked to these heritage structures and foreigners make a beeline to these monuments, whenever they are in India. Seeing these monuments in shambles make them feel disgraced too. Perhaps it is time for everyone to wake up to the reality that these monuments are our heritage and we need to care for the same.