Petition to UNESCO Director, Save Taj Mahal Campaign. Existence of Taj is under Threat.
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Dear Irina Bokova. Hon. Director General - UNESCO
The Taj Mahal is the seventh wonder of the world. It has always been a priority not only for Uttar Pradesh but for the entire country of India. It will always be central to all our tourism policy, but there were some other new projects we wanted to feature.
The soaring mausoleum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and is considered one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture.
The Taj Mahal, India’s iconic monument, has taken a beating in recent years. Its attendance figures are down, and air pollution is slowly turning its ethereal white marble yellow.
Now, to make matters worse, some in India say that a staunch Hindu nationalist government recently elected in the Taj’s home state of Uttar Pradesh is starving the world-famous site of funds and support because, as it sees it, the mausoleum was built by Muslim invaders.
The state’s new chief minister, the saffron-robed Hindu priest Yogi Adityanath, set the tone early on when he lamented at a rally that tiny models of the Taj Mahal are often given to visiting foreign dignitaries, saying the monument “does not reflect Indian culture.”
The Taj, the country’s biggest tourism draw, was not allotted any cultural heritage funds in the state budget for the coming year. And the monument was omitted from the state’s official tourism brochure last week, prompting yelps of protest from the main national opposition party. Taj Mahal has been excluded from the Official Tourist Sites and booklets on tourism. The omission is a clear religious bias which is completely misplaced.
According to the Tourism Ministry, 480,000 foreign tourists visited the site in 2015, a 35 percent drop from the 743,000 who visited there in 2012. Domestic tourists decreased by almost 113,400 from 2012 to 2015, officials say. The Taj Mahal has long been a prime draw for foreign visitors, but its tourist numbers have dropped steadily since 2012, despite the opening of a highway that can bring tour buses from the nation’s capital, New Delhi, in under three hours.
Adityanath’s government countered by saying that the state, supported by funds from the World Bank, had slated $22 million to the monument for new gates, beautification, and a multilevel parking structure.
This Neglection has attained world's attention and several world media has brough this up. Please find below URLs for reference.
Washington Post :- https://goo.gl/aYRNTu
BBC NEWS :- http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41482311
Petition Placed On Behalf of 1.32 billion Indian Citizens and Tourists who visit India to experience one of the seventh wonders of the world.
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