Joined: 12 January 2006
New Delhi: It's an invitation that's hard to resist especially when it comes with a strong suggestion of judging you on how patriotic you are. Also thrown in is a chance for you to participate in making history. So, no wonder then that everyone wants to contribute to helping the Taj Mahal make it to the Seven Wonders of the World list.
And the countdown for the new Seven Wonders list has begun with five days to go for the announcement.
"Type TAJ and SMS it to 4567. People please vote," says a student, Vipul Malhotra.
While another student and Taj enthusiast, Ipsanah Rashid Khan appeals, "I request everyone to please vote for the Taj Mahal."
The euphoria perhaps is well deserved. After all, it's only now that the new Seven Wonders list will be drawn but the inclusion itself may not translate into actual results for the Taj.
"The Seven Wonders list is a completely unofficial and meaningless one. However, it has been very exciting to see the euphoria but the real achievement will be if this great mass movement gets more people involved with heritage sites," Conservation Architect Ratish Nanda says.
Taj itself gains little from this list, as it has no relief from stinking riverfront or addition to funds for its upkeep or even a sudden spurt of tourists.
But the foundation behind the campaign has its commerce worked out – there are coffee mugs, T-shirts, bags, official new Seven Wonder pins that can be bought on the website. Also on offer are tours, screensavers and an official song.
"It is a marketing ploy to generate revenues through the Internet. So, the question is are all these ways of making personal gains?" Nanda asks.
Inclusion or no inclusion, Shah Jehan's white wonder will always remain an architectural marvel – an ode to romance and historic splendour.
Most gripping topic ever, Hera Pheri Awa
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I hate the whole idea of
Ratings and contests!! These are not standard!
There are wonderful wonders in this world and who are some set of people to decide them! We have 7 billion wonders and when we visit each thing ,we find it to be a wonder!
Even beauty is also a relative concept! I find somany non-contestants of beauty contests to be beautiful than the so called titled Miss Univ/Miss World!!
I did'nt vote to this vote for taj ... as it makes not impact on the adoration I've on Taj Mahal immaterial of its 7 wonders or 70 wonders state!
Joined: 12 January 2006
Sunday 24th of June 2007 The credibility of the much-hyped campaign to vote the Taj Mahal as one of the world's seven new wonders is now in question.
'The New 7 Wonders of the World' campaign has been launched by the owner of a Swiss website. 'The whole campaign is a media hoax,' says Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society here. 'How can the whole government machinery be used to hype a campaign launched by a private entrepreneur?'
Sudhir Kumar, the Agra chief of the Indian government's tourism department, admitted that the campaign was a private one and those supporting it were doing so in their private capacity.
'The campaign is not backed by any government agency, though we feel it is good and in the interest of the tourism industry as a whole to promote the Taj Mahal,' Kumar told IANS.
K. Mishra, a senior official in the Uttar Pradesh tourism department, said his office had nothing to do with the campaign.
K.K. Sharma of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) here described the campaign as 'economic exploitation of the sentiments of the Indian people. No two monuments are alike and they should not be compared.
'It is an injustice to the status and dignity of the Taj Mahal.'
But the ASI has circulated banners and pamphlets appealing to people to vote for the Taj though this initiative has reportedly been taken by its Bhopal circle.
The tourism industry has been promoting the campaign in its own interest. Several government agencies and voluntary groups have also got involved.
District Magistrate Mukesh Meshram headed a procession this week to mobilise votes for the Taj.
Mughal historian R. Nath says the whole campaign is uncalled for. 'The Taj is already a taj (crown). It needs no certification from any authority.'
The people on the street here do not know who has promoted the campaign, but think it is the government. One hotelier said: 'We thought it must be a government-supported campaign since the district authorities were taking so much interest.'
Unesco, which runs the World Heritage Programme, has denied that it has anything to do with this campaign.
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