Monuments of National Importance in the Decolonization Drive Reflects the history of Bharat

The current government in India initiated a decolonization drive to change the British mindset of those responsible for writing history books, which resulted in the neglect of important monuments and archaeological sites. The Economic Advisory Council’s report on Monuments of National Importance, which he regards as a significant step forward in the preservation and designation of monuments reflecting Bharat’s history. There are some inconsistencies in the list of national monuments that suggest changes in the way India views monument preservation.

What are the recommendations given by the report?

  • Rationalize and evolve criteria for India’s monument list: The report emphasised the urgent need to rationalise India’s list of monuments of national importance and recommended that the ASI develop substantive criteria as well as a detailed procedure for declaring monuments to be of national importance.
  • Book of detailed information: ASI should publish a book of notifications with detailed information about each MNI’s provenance, hand over protection and upkeep of monuments of local importance to respective states, and denotify all standalone antiquities, such as cannons and statues, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Funding: Funding for the preservation of MNI should be increased, and ASI should keep the proceeds from revenue streams such as tickets, events, fees, and other sources.

Post-Independence India’s Neglect of Monuments and Archaeological Sites

  • Inadequate efforts: Following India’s independence, there was little effort made to correct the British mindset of those in charge of writing history books, which resulted in the neglect of monuments and archaeological sites.
  • History books continued to teach the history of India’s defeats and its enemies’ victories, perpetuating the British view of India.

The current government’s Decolonization Drive National Heroes:

  • The current government, led by Prime Minister Modi, initiated a decolonization drive to bring to light the stories of King Suheldev, Rani Durgavati, and Lachit Barphukan, among others.
  • For example, the government highlighted the story of Delhi’s founder-king, Anangpal Tomar, and designated the neglected Anang Tal as a national monument.
  • Nationally significant names, sites, and insignia: The government also hosted national and international events at the Sindhu-Saraswati site of Dholavira and unveiled a new Shivaji-era inspired naval insignia.

The Importance of This Report

  • The report on Monuments of National Importance by the Economic Advisory Council is a significant step in the right direction.
  • The report will provide a breath of fresh air in terms of preserving and designating monuments that reflect Bharat’s history.
  • All of the report’s recommendations can be implemented without amending the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, requiring only executive orders.

Anomalies in the National Register of Monuments

  • There are some inconsistencies in the list of national monuments.
  • There isn’t a single monument dedicated to the struggles of Dalits or the life of B R Ambedkar that has been designated as a national monument.
  • Some monuments, such as Tota-Maina ki Qabar and Dadi Poti ka Gumbad, have no history, and no one knows whether they should be designated as National Monuments.
  • As a result, all agencies working on monuments should be freed from the British slave mindset and placed in the hands of those who are knowledgeable about their subject.

@the end

There is hope that the Bibek Debroy-Sanjeev Sanyal report will bring a whiff of fresh thinking in the direction of preserving and designating monuments that reflect Bharat’s history. There is the need for an Archaeological Foundation to preserve the civilizational and revolutionary monuments of India.

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