Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 May 2018 11:19:49










 THE Supreme Court’s concern and agony on the state of the iconic Taj Mahal and pulling up of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is quite understandable. Because, to everybody’s horror the historical monument, set in white marble, is turning green and even brown of late. This in spite of the fact that the apex court itself has undertaken the task of monitoring the upkeep of the Taj. The excuse by the ASI that the Taj was changing colour due to stagnation of the Yamuna waters is patently flimsy and should be shot down. Upon ASI’s failure to take measures to maintain the beauty of the monument, the Supreme Court had asked the Government to consult international experts for its upkeep. But that also has not happened. It is ironic that a monument, that is rated as one of the greatest wonders in the world, and a visit to which becomes an essential stopover for heads of Governments and heads of States and where lakhs of tourists visit every year, is allowed to decay due to negligence by the concerned authorities. It appears to be nobody’s concern.


THE political parties in Jammu and Kashmir must think again about their demand for ceasefire by security forces during the holy month of Ramzan and the annual Amarnath pilgrimage. The demand is only one-sided, to say the least. Even if the security forces agree for a ceasefire during Ramzan and the Amarnath pilgrimage, the militants are least likely to respond positively to the appeal. Much to the contrary, they are more likely to mount attacks on Indian security forces as well as places of worship, something they are used to doing as part of their culture. In the past as well, the militants had attacked the Amarnath pilgrims and have not spared the Ramzan days of fast. If the appeal for a ceasefire during these two holy events is heard by the security forces, the militants are less likely to listen to this voice of reason. It is against this background that we must request all political parties in Kashmir to think again about the correctness of the stance they wish the Government to take. The security forces act only when the militants strike, which we cannot forget.