Thursday, June 12, 2008

Censorship at the Taj Mahal?

Revisiting places often throw up new details that may have escaped you before. On a recent trip to the Taj Mahal, that's what happened to me. I, unlike when I was a kid (the last time I went to the Taj), headed for the stone tablets placed on either side of the main entrance to the monument. I was intrigued to see how a few of the engraved lines were covered using white paint. The one in Hindi had its paint peeling off, making it possible for anybody to read what the government wished to hide from its people and tourists from abroad (loose translation):

The Taj Mahal's upkeep was in safe hands even after Shahjahan's death. But that changed in the 18th century. Its ... (illegible) and sandalwood doors, cots, boards and other furnitures, lamps and lamp posts, ... (illegible), curtains, gem-studded artefacts and other items were plundered one after the others by the Jats, Marathas and the East India Company.

What's the harm in saying so if it is a historical fact? If it isn't, why was this etched in public by the government in the first place? History, as always, remains a toy in the hands of the government.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home