New Delhi: Amidst apprehensions that the Narendra Modi government has made up its mind to handover Taj Mahal to private firms, media group India Today has started "Save Taj Mahal" campaign to protect the Unesco heritage site, and India's most iconic historical monument and one of the seven wonders of the world.
"Taj Mahal has stood for centuries as symbol of eternal love, a tear drop on the cheek of time. But one of India's most iconic historical monument is reeling under pollution and neglect. It's being robbed of its pristine beauty as smoke and soot cover its resplendent dome and minarets", India Today says while launching the campaign.
"Add to that the usual poltics and you have a perfect recipe of disaster", it says.
"India Today spearheads the efforts Save the Taj. It holds everyone including the government accountable for the sorry state of the monument that is India's pride. India Today nudges the slumbering government machinery awake and fights to restore the glory of the monument", it adds.
India Today TV from Tuesday, July 17 is broadcasting a seven-part series on how to save the Taj. The 30-minute programme is be aired at 6 pm. Along with this, India Today magazine will start a 12-part campaign with its issue dating July 30.
"India Today Group's fight to save the Taj is not just about protecting a medieval tomb from decay but restoring our cultural heritage for future generations. For many foreigners Taj Mahal is synonymous with India. The monument is an important marker in our development as a civilisation and India Today Group is stepping up to find innovative ways to save the monument of love for posterity", the media group says.
India Today launched its "Save Taj Mahal" campaign after the Supreme Court of India in one its harshest comments made regarding the safety of the historic monuments asked the government to "demolish the Taj if it can't save it."
Meanwhile, reports are also emerging that after handing over Delhi's Red Fort to Dalmiya Group, Modi government is planning to hand over the Taj Mahal to private firms under its "Adopt a Heritage" scheme.
"Large number of monuments are on the list under the scheme and Taj is also on the list. If the Colosseum can be adopted and managed by a footwear company why not the Taj?" Tourism Minister K J Alphons said at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday when asked about the status of the Mughal monument under the scheme.
The minister said that the scheme is a "big part of the government's tourism policy" and encouraged NGOs and corporates to come forward and adopt more such monuments.
"It is the responsibility of all Indians to maintain the heritage of India. The monuments belong to every Indian. All the problems have been sorted out and we are working at a fast pace. The scheme is proceeding as per plan and the prime minister has been extremely supportive," he said.
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