In the eye of the Taj

I was surprised to see this picture of blind students holding replicas of the Taj Mahal as part of the campaign for it to be voted among the Seven Wonders of the World. This was highly insensitive and to think that it was credited as ‘An Asian Age photograph' and not some agency handout.

A few days ago Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam in his enthusiasm as part of the campaign asked, “Why not the Taj Mahal? It symbolises the huge strides our country is making. It is the symbol of our economic prosperity.”

Is there an explanation for such a silly statement? How has the Taj Mahal contributed to economic prosperity? It is an ancient monument and has little to do with the strides India is making, unless we wish to see the ‘yellowing’ as an example of pollution and therefore rapid industrialisation. In which case, the appeal is rather circuitous.

Perhaps our political leaders will have such SMS appeals for eye donations the next time and the media will give it equal if not more coverage?


  1. Tears of frustration are falling from my eyes. This is the most insensitive and cheap photograph I have seen of late. Shame on whoever has done this. I spit on their face...

  2. Indeed...here we talk about 'larger issues' and I doubt many would have been even struck by it...after all on the same page there were some models. I have written a letter to the Ed (I know I write a column for the same paper, but so what?)

    I was just imagining those kids running their fingers over that Taj replica and felt so disgusted.

  3. phoooof! tears in my eyes again. Something is wrong. All my initial feeling of a different kind of surprize (well they said it wont make it) and happiness to see that Taj was included in the 7 Wonders was cut short by this rather sickening photograph.

    Most insensitive to publish. Feel very low about India sometimes.

    I have never been to the Taj till now. I am sure when I go there I will be reminded of this photo and will cry again.

  4. There are so many such heart-wrenching moments in life, Amandeep...let not your joy be lessened.

    Btw, Asian Age did publish my letter today.

    Here are a few lines that may give you back the Taj you might want to see:

    taj ik zinda tasavvur hai kisi shaayar ka
    iska afsana haqeeqat ke siva kuchh bhi nahi
    iske aaghosh mein aakar ye gumaan hota hai
    zindagi jaise muhabbat ke siva kuchh bhi nahi
    taj ne pyaar ki maujon ko ravaani di hai

    ek shahanshaah ne banava ke haseen tajmahal
    saari duniya ko muhabbat ki nishaani di hai
    iske saaye mein sadaa pyaar ke charche honge
    khatm jo ho na sakegi woh kahaani di hai

    (Shakeel Badayuni, film 'Leader')


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