L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Take urgent steps to save Taj Mahal

This refers to the news report, “Taj ‘in danger of collapse within five years’” (October 7). Shah Jahan was a prolific builder. He built splendid palaces, forts, mosques, gardens, etc. But it is the Taj Mahal — one of the seven wonders of the world—that has perpetuated his memory. The Emperor had great love for his wife, Mumtaz and the Taj Mahal — a matchless monument of conjugal fidelity — is worthy of her memory. He began to build even his own tomb — a replica of the Taj—albeit in black marble, on the other side of the Yamuna. Both the edifices were to be connected by a bridge. But his son, Aurangzeb rebelled, usurped the throne and placed him under strict confinement as an ordinary prisoner, and the project was abandoned. Thus, “humanity has been deprived of an architectural composition, which for romance, imagination and magnificence would have had no equal”.

In captivity, the miserable potentate found solace in offering prayers and gazing at the Taj from the window of his bedroom till death relieved him of his distress. Urgent measures should be taken to save this architectural wonder.



This refers to the news story, “Taj ‘in danger of collapse within five years’” (October 7). It is a matter of grave concern that the Taj Mahal is in danger of collapse due to the impact of air pollution. It has been recognized that the corrosive impact of pollutants and emissions from industries, vehicles, etc, on the Taj Mahal needs to be addressed first.  Polluters around the Taj Mahal should be held responsible for any harm caused to the monument.

It is the responsibility of the government to prevent environmental degradation to save an architectural wonder of the world, which is losing its shine.  Even if scientific uncertainty exists, the implementation of preventive measures should not be delayed wherever there is the possibility of irreversible damage.  


Drug addiction

It is a matter of grave concern that children are being pushed into drug addiction (Lure for extra bucks sees parents pushing kids into drugs, October 4). The report says that 11 kids of Kotkapura, all below 13 years, were made to take synthetic drugs by their parents and some adults. This was done so that they did not feel any inhibition in begging, stealing, snatching and rag-picking. This is a sorry state of affairs. It is true the parents of these children are poor. But nothing justifies their action.

At the same time it must also be said that somewhere our system is also unable to address the problems of these people. The worst thing that can happen in any society is when criminals begin exploiting the poor. The poor are made to think that they can come out of their poverty by resorting to unfair means. The poor do not have access to information, and they do not know about the various schemes which the government has started for their welfare.


Enriching culture

The editorial, “Films as educators” (October 6), correctly portrays the cultural scenario of Haryana and very well applauds the contribution of Susuma Arya and Ajit Rai in bringing cultural richness to Haryana.

Though some efforts are being made by the state government to satiate cultural appetite of the people of Haryana, these efforts are not enough. Films as educators, it goes without saying, can do much not only in bringing cultural renaissance but also in the areas of teaching-learning dynamics. They can make teaching more effective.

It may be a rewarding exercise if some documentaries/ short films are prepared for students and teachers and can be televised by some special channels. Such a step can not only ignite moral values but can also lead to cultural rejuvenation. A film school may be developed which may attract future actors and artists. It will be a great service to the cause of Haryana’s culture and value-based education in the state.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Reforming education

This refers to Kanwarjit Bindra’s article, “Make Learning Stimulating” (October 10). The writer has rightly remarked that our basic assumptions on which the edifice of education is erected need overturn. We are not working on creating an environment where a child, totally oblivious of fear, punishment, reward, comparison and competition, is allowed to pursue his own interests and aspirations.

In the present scenario of education, the child is just carrying the burden of expectations of his parents and relatives. A large number of coaching institutes have come up which do not care for the inherent talent of their students. How long will we take to understand that every individual has his/her own strengths and weaknesses? The rising cases of suicide in our premier engineering institutes prove the fact that the present education system needs reforms.


Reliving past experiences

Renu Saigal’s middle, “Nostalgia” (October 10), evokes nostalgic memories in every person’s mind, who is getting past fifty or sixty. That is the time when one has had enough of the present and wants to peep into the past for reminiscence. Before this all are too occupied with responsibilities towards others. Nostalgia is a flashback of memories of all those moments which we hardly bothered about at that period of time. Good happenings, in particular, get embedded in the brain and we love talking about these moments when we meet our old friends.

Ironically, the youngsters are not found that much appreciative of the nostalgic memories of their elders. Nostalgia binds together the past, the present and the future. It is to be enjoyed and cherished, but it is not at all any kind of criticism of the present. Protecting our monuments is, in fact, a proof of our longing for a period in the past. Even the propagation of our rich cultural values is the outcome of nostalgic memories.

Prof I M JOSHI (retd), Manimajra



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