‘Policies to safeguard heritage need of the hour’ : The Tribune India

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‘Policies to safeguard heritage need of the hour’

Defacement at the Jallianwala Bagh must be corrected: Dr Sukhdev Singh

‘Policies to safeguard heritage need of the hour’

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 19

Calling out government agencies and other stakeholders for compromising heritage character in the name of development, Dr Sukhdev Singh, Punjab state convener, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), criticised the modern development strategies being followed blindly, solely with a focus on profit and accumulation of wealth, with no human or natural concern.

Defacement at the Jallianwala Bagh must be corrected. The addition of non-representative plastic or metal images on the walls of the entry street, the removal of the pillar marking the position of firing by the British forces, the texts scripted on the ground, the glaringly incorrect texts written in Punjabi, the practice of throwing currency notes in the well must be corrected. Dr Sukhdev Singh, Punjab state convener, INTACH

INTACH, which has been spearheading heritage awareness and protection movement in the country, has time and again stressed on the need to find a balance and nuanced approach toward heritage conservation.

“Instead of following the policies of development where wellbeing of human race and ecological balance remain in the centre stage, the policies are based on bare production, profit and corporatisation. The bi-product of these strategies is the devastation of ecological imbalance and climatic change on the one hand and the rise of socio-economic inequality, on the other,” said Dr Sukhdev Singh. He said that heritage sites, the heritage materials, the heritage systems of livelihood and living are being harmed by the climatic change.

Since 1983, World Heritage Day is celebrated on April 18 every year. A theme for the year is set around, which events are centred on World Heritage Day. The theme for the year 2022 “Heritage and Climatic Change”, UNESCO has encouraged partner states and other organisations to show activities highlighting how heritage can be a source of knowledge to fight climate change. The sub topics suggested for discussions and events this year include: disaster risk (climate-induced, human-induced), vernacular heritage, heritage in conflict, heritage and democracy, indigenous heritage, sacred space, or sacred heritage.

He said the Punjab Government should form the heritage committees at the state as well as district levels in the MCs with reference to the addition of the Chapter-XIII in Punjab Municipal Building Bylaws 2018 on the persuasion by INTACH Punjab Chapter. However, he said, “The government has to be responsive to the cultural heritage of the state because the government policies are the major driver for safeguarding cultural heritage.”

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