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Activists slam Govt-Dalmiya deal about Red Fort Maintenance

Sabrangindia 02 May 2018
The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) has come down heavily against the government's move to hand over the Red Fort to the Dalmiya Group for maintenance in exchange for advertising and revenue collection rights. In a strongly worded press release SAHMAT questions the government's commitment to protecting Indian heritage structures. The statement says, "The present regime in power has an unsavoury past in regard to our heritage. It felt no compunction when its followers destroyed a 450 years old monument of architectural importance in 1992 just because it was a mosque." SAHMAT states that its greatest fear is, "...that a commercial company will try to cater to the kind of beliefs and prejudices the RSS and its followers represent in interpreting and then trifling with the structure of the Red Fort."

Red Fort
 
SAHMAT questions the Dalmiya Group's credentials in terms of experience in maintaining historical structures, saying, "... people should be perturbed when it is announced that the safekeeping of the historic Red Fort of Delhi from which India’s independence was proclaimed by Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 August 1947, and has always been a symbol of modern Indian nationalism since 1857 is being entrusted to a cement company, Dalmia Bharat with no known credentials in the work of architectural preservation or in heritage-management."
 
The statement signed by over a hundred activists demands that the agreement between the government and the Dalmiya group be recided immediately and the upkeep of heritage structures be handled only the the Archaeological Society of India. The entire statement may be read here:

SAHMAT Statement on handing over Red Fort to Dalmia Bharat

The Indian people cherish their great heritage that exists in physical terms in its monuments as well as the huts and tools of ordinary men and women of the past. What remains from the past needs not only to be faithfully preserved, but also correctly interpreted.

The present regime in power has an unsavoury past in regard to our heritage. It felt no compunction when its followers destroyed a 450 years old monument of architectural importance in 1992 just because it was a mosque. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has long been propagating the cause of declaring all major medieval monuments, including the Taj Mahal and Delhi’s Red Fort as Hindu structures.

It is, therefore, right that people should be perturbed when it is announced that the safekeeping of the historic Red Fort of Delhi from which India’s independence was proclaimed by Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 August 1947, and has always been a symbol of modern Indian nationalism since 1857 is being entrusted to a cement company, Dalmia Bharat with no known credentials in the work of architectural preservation or in heritage-management. It has been announced that they are expected to “construct landscape”, etc., and also maintain an “interpretation centre”.

It is surely a slur on the Archaeological Survey of India, the legal guardian of all monuments that it is held to be incapable of maintaining a major national monument like the Red Fort. But what is most troubling is the fear that a commercial company will try to cater to the kind of beliefs and prejudices the RSS and its followers represent in interpreting and then trifling with the structure of the Red Fort.

It is, therefore, essential that the agreement between the Government and Dalmia Bharat be rescinded, and the Red Fort, as well as all our major monuments be duly protected and preserved solely by the Archaeological Survey of India, to which the duty is assigned by the Protected Monuments Act, 1958.
 
Irfan Habib      
Vivan Sundaram     
Prabhat Patnaik
Mushirul Hasan
Mihir Bhattacharya
Sashi Kumar
Ram Rahman 
Anil Bhatti
Geeta Kapur   
M. K. Raina
Madangopal Singh
Sohail Hashmi
Anil Nauriya
Arjun Dev
B.P. Sahu
D. N. Jha
Iqtidar Alam Khan   
K M Shrimali   
Lata Singh
Prabhat Shukla
R. C. Thakran    
Shireen Moosvi
Suvira Jaiswal 
Vishwamohan Jha    
R. P. Bahuguna 
Rajesh Singh    
Kesavan Veluthat    
A. K. Sinha
Shalin Jain      
H. C. Satyarthi
V. Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna Chatterjee  
Arun Bandopadhyaya
S. Z. H. Jafri      
C. P. Chandrasekhar 
Vikas Rawal   
Indira Arjun Dev
Zoya Hasan    
C. P. Bhambri
Kanishka Prasad
Vartika Chaturvedi
Abha Dev Habib
                     
Rakesh Batabyal     
Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Rekha Awasthi
Nadeem Rezavi
M.M.P. Singh
Ramesh Rawat
Rajinder Arora
Rajni Arora
Amar Farooqui
Aban Raza
Badri Raina
Sukumar Murlidharan
Veer Munshi
Anand K. Sahay
Sukriti Ray
Saba Hasan
Raj Chauhan
Santosh Rai
Hitendra Patel
V.N. Sinha
J.N. Sinha
O.P. Jaiswal
Najaj Hyder
C.P.N. Sinha
Dayanand Rai
H.C. Satyarthi
S.S. Seshan
B.N.P. Singh
S.N.R. Rizvi
Sushanto Das
Sanjay Sharma
K.L. Tuteja
Nagenra Sharma
Nalini Taneja
Asad Zaidi
Arun Mishra
Ranbir Singh Dahiya
Wazir Singh Ghanghas
Sitaram Singh
Himanshu Joshi
Anil Kumar Singh
Aditi Chowdhury
 
 
Rakesh Manchanda
Manoj Kulkarni
Durgaprasad Agrawal
Prasanna Kumar
Roger Alexander
Abul Kalam Azad Pattanam
Chaman Lal
Estelle Pereira Desai
Girish Shrivastava
Naresh Prerna
Bhavna Sharma
Ranbir Sinh
Smita Gupta
Vinod Bhooshan Abrol
Frans Manjali
Alok Bajpai
Alka Bajpai
Salim Saboowalla
Aftab Alam
Subhabrato Roy
Kiran Shaheen
Rakhshanda Jalil
Moin Sattar
Bindu Batra
Nicky Chandam
Atika Gupta
S. Kalidas
Ankit Agrawal
Kausar Wizarat
Ved Dhingra
Sudhanshi Vasudev
Jai Wokhloo
Raj Kumar
Hamid Ali Khan
Munesh Tyagi
Manmohan
Mathew Varghese
Rashmi Doraiswamy
Saumya Baijal
Jawed Nehal
 Avik Bose   
 

Activists slam Govt-Dalmiya deal about Red Fort Maintenance

The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) has come down heavily against the government's move to hand over the Red Fort to the Dalmiya Group for maintenance in exchange for advertising and revenue collection rights. In a strongly worded press release SAHMAT questions the government's commitment to protecting Indian heritage structures. The statement says, "The present regime in power has an unsavoury past in regard to our heritage. It felt no compunction when its followers destroyed a 450 years old monument of architectural importance in 1992 just because it was a mosque." SAHMAT states that its greatest fear is, "...that a commercial company will try to cater to the kind of beliefs and prejudices the RSS and its followers represent in interpreting and then trifling with the structure of the Red Fort."

Red Fort
 
SAHMAT questions the Dalmiya Group's credentials in terms of experience in maintaining historical structures, saying, "... people should be perturbed when it is announced that the safekeeping of the historic Red Fort of Delhi from which India’s independence was proclaimed by Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 August 1947, and has always been a symbol of modern Indian nationalism since 1857 is being entrusted to a cement company, Dalmia Bharat with no known credentials in the work of architectural preservation or in heritage-management."
 
The statement signed by over a hundred activists demands that the agreement between the government and the Dalmiya group be recided immediately and the upkeep of heritage structures be handled only the the Archaeological Society of India. The entire statement may be read here:

SAHMAT Statement on handing over Red Fort to Dalmia Bharat

The Indian people cherish their great heritage that exists in physical terms in its monuments as well as the huts and tools of ordinary men and women of the past. What remains from the past needs not only to be faithfully preserved, but also correctly interpreted.

The present regime in power has an unsavoury past in regard to our heritage. It felt no compunction when its followers destroyed a 450 years old monument of architectural importance in 1992 just because it was a mosque. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has long been propagating the cause of declaring all major medieval monuments, including the Taj Mahal and Delhi’s Red Fort as Hindu structures.

It is, therefore, right that people should be perturbed when it is announced that the safekeeping of the historic Red Fort of Delhi from which India’s independence was proclaimed by Jawaharlal Nehru on 15 August 1947, and has always been a symbol of modern Indian nationalism since 1857 is being entrusted to a cement company, Dalmia Bharat with no known credentials in the work of architectural preservation or in heritage-management. It has been announced that they are expected to “construct landscape”, etc., and also maintain an “interpretation centre”.

It is surely a slur on the Archaeological Survey of India, the legal guardian of all monuments that it is held to be incapable of maintaining a major national monument like the Red Fort. But what is most troubling is the fear that a commercial company will try to cater to the kind of beliefs and prejudices the RSS and its followers represent in interpreting and then trifling with the structure of the Red Fort.

It is, therefore, essential that the agreement between the Government and Dalmia Bharat be rescinded, and the Red Fort, as well as all our major monuments be duly protected and preserved solely by the Archaeological Survey of India, to which the duty is assigned by the Protected Monuments Act, 1958.
 
Irfan Habib      
Vivan Sundaram     
Prabhat Patnaik
Mushirul Hasan
Mihir Bhattacharya
Sashi Kumar
Ram Rahman 
Anil Bhatti
Geeta Kapur   
M. K. Raina
Madangopal Singh
Sohail Hashmi
Anil Nauriya
Arjun Dev
B.P. Sahu
D. N. Jha
Iqtidar Alam Khan   
K M Shrimali   
Lata Singh
Prabhat Shukla
R. C. Thakran    
Shireen Moosvi
Suvira Jaiswal 
Vishwamohan Jha    
R. P. Bahuguna 
Rajesh Singh    
Kesavan Veluthat    
A. K. Sinha
Shalin Jain      
H. C. Satyarthi
V. Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna Chatterjee  
Arun Bandopadhyaya
S. Z. H. Jafri      
C. P. Chandrasekhar 
Vikas Rawal   
Indira Arjun Dev
Zoya Hasan    
C. P. Bhambri
Kanishka Prasad
Vartika Chaturvedi
Abha Dev Habib
                     
Rakesh Batabyal     
Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Rekha Awasthi
Nadeem Rezavi
M.M.P. Singh
Ramesh Rawat
Rajinder Arora
Rajni Arora
Amar Farooqui
Aban Raza
Badri Raina
Sukumar Murlidharan
Veer Munshi
Anand K. Sahay
Sukriti Ray
Saba Hasan
Raj Chauhan
Santosh Rai
Hitendra Patel
V.N. Sinha
J.N. Sinha
O.P. Jaiswal
Najaj Hyder
C.P.N. Sinha
Dayanand Rai
H.C. Satyarthi
S.S. Seshan
B.N.P. Singh
S.N.R. Rizvi
Sushanto Das
Sanjay Sharma
K.L. Tuteja
Nagenra Sharma
Nalini Taneja
Asad Zaidi
Arun Mishra
Ranbir Singh Dahiya
Wazir Singh Ghanghas
Sitaram Singh
Himanshu Joshi
Anil Kumar Singh
Aditi Chowdhury
 
 
Rakesh Manchanda
Manoj Kulkarni
Durgaprasad Agrawal
Prasanna Kumar
Roger Alexander
Abul Kalam Azad Pattanam
Chaman Lal
Estelle Pereira Desai
Girish Shrivastava
Naresh Prerna
Bhavna Sharma
Ranbir Sinh
Smita Gupta
Vinod Bhooshan Abrol
Frans Manjali
Alok Bajpai
Alka Bajpai
Salim Saboowalla
Aftab Alam
Subhabrato Roy
Kiran Shaheen
Rakhshanda Jalil
Moin Sattar
Bindu Batra
Nicky Chandam
Atika Gupta
S. Kalidas
Ankit Agrawal
Kausar Wizarat
Ved Dhingra
Sudhanshi Vasudev
Jai Wokhloo
Raj Kumar
Hamid Ali Khan
Munesh Tyagi
Manmohan
Mathew Varghese
Rashmi Doraiswamy
Saumya Baijal
Jawed Nehal
 Avik Bose   
 

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