Duty to preserve proud legacy of Mohenjo Daro
By The New Indian Express
29th June 2012 12:18 AM
An international television channel’s report about the lack of conservation in Mohenjo Daro is a matter of deep concern to India and, indeed, the world. Mohenjo Daro, or the “city of the dead”, and Harappa, are the two major sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation among several others spread across the north-west of the Indian sub-continent. These settlements, dating back to 2,600 B.C., and which lasted for more than 1,000 years, represent the dawn of the Indian civilisation. Their value, therefore, is immeasurable in terms of history, archaeology and the emotional well-spring of Indians.
From the archaeological point of view, their significance lies in the fact that they are the remnants of the world’s first urban civilisation, as is evident from Mohenjo Daro’s neatly laid-out streets lining even two-storey houses, the city’s Great Bath, and the water and drainage systems for an estimated 35,000 people. The artifacts are also an indication of the high level of artistic development which was achieved by its citizens. Any neglect, therefore, of this historical heritage, which belongs to mankind rather than to any nation, is nothing short of criminal in nature.
It is not only the duty of the Pakistan government to ensure that the sites are properly maintained and adequately guarded against vandals, including the religious ones who may not be too mindful about preserving the relics of the region’s pre-Islamic past. The Indian government and, indeed, the international community led by the UN have to be alert about possible deterioration of the historical monuments even from natural causes. Since Mohenjo Daro is a world heritage site, advice from the experts of other countries can be sought for its maintenance. But primarily, it is the responsibility of Islamabad and New Delhi to cooperate in preserving the stirring archaeological reminders of a glorious period which should be regarded as the proud legacy of both the countries.
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