Dr Ambedkar, the architect of Constitution of India, embraced Buddhism in his later life and almost revived a religion which was on the verge of extinction from India. But our Constitution and government machinery is not sufficient to preserve an archaeological site of immense importance in South Delhi. Friends, I am talking about a historical, archaeological and Buddhist site which I discovered in my locality after four years of residing there. This site is just two minute walking distance from my residence.
What I supposed to be a jogger’s park, where I never poked my nose because of a garbage dumping site of Delhi Municipality, turned to be a sacred site to Buddhists who daily come in number of hundreds and thousands from countries say Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Japan, Korea and China.
This site is not so ‘well protected’ by Archaeological Survey of India; there is not a single information board outside the premises which claims to be a tourist spot or historical monument. So, no wonder it took me four years to discover this site.
Well, Buddha is not a God like Ram, Krishna, Devi Durga, Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, etc. whose name could be used to start a religious enterprise. This is the main problem why Buddhist monuments are in utter negligence in India. Why the hell a Buddhist temple of Bodh Gaya is maintained by Hindu priests and they share the money donated by Buddhist pilgrims? Most of us don’t know about Buddhist Special Train which covers destinations of : Delhi – Gaya – Bodhgaya – Rajgir – Nalanda – Gaya – Varanasi – Sarnath – Varanasi – Gorakhpur – Khusinagar – Lumbini – Gorakhpur – Gonda – Sravasti – Gonda – Agra – Taj Mahal – Delhi. Although the cost of train journey is bit expensive, USD 770 to USD 1120 (₹ 42350 to ₹ 61600) for seven day and seven night trip which is not affordable to an average Indian. We can cite number of Hindu pilgrimage centres which have no historical relevance but we are most pathetic about our History and heritage which is most sound in Buddhist historical places.
But friends, without deviating from my topic, I would like to show few pics which tells a story of utter disregard to the ‘sarkari’ slogan ‘Incredible India!’ precisely as Incredible !ndia.
You must be surprised to see disgusting stench of garbage site welcoming foreign tourists. There is not a single tap-water stand and washing room for gents or ladies. Any refreshment canteen is out of question in this ASI protected site. You can’t see any help-desk of ASI. Is this is the real face of ‘Incredible !ndia?’ What image of India will these tourists tell to their compatriots?
Last year I e-mailed a letter to Director General and Circle Officers of ASI to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
There is one ASI protected monument in South Delhi, East of Kailash, near C-Block Market which has Asokan rock eddict and it is visited by Buddhist pilgrims across the world. I am astonished to see the heart wrenching scene there because it has no sign board from ASI which declares it to be a ASI protected site. Though it has information put by ASI that too inside the vicinity of park!!!
I want to draw your attention for following issues-
1. The site has no basic amenities like drinking water and toilets for visitors.
2. The site has garbage dumping area which has unbearable stenching smell.
3. It is poorly maintained by ASI and concerned Government Deptt. and always has used bottle of Liquor and Beer.
4. It has no information centre by ASI and it gives an impression that it is maintained by ‘GHOSTS’ of ASI.
Eagerly waiting for your reply because the current condition of the monument gives an impression that India is not a tourist friendly nation and it imparts a poor image of India. No doubt, it also portrays ASI in poor light.
Though I didn’t get any reply from these three senior incredible officers of ASI.
“This minor rock edict of the great Maurya emperor Asoka (279-236 BC) was discovered in 1966 by the Archaeological Survey of India. The ten lines record in Prakrit Language and engraved in Brahmi script on the rugged rock of the Arawali represent a shorter version of his minor rock-edicts. It bespeaks of his exertion in the cause of Dhamma. Ashoka was able to bring his countrymen closer to the God. He appealed to his subjects, irrespective of their social status, to exert, so that they might attain heaven. The present rock-edict indicates that during ancient times, Delhi was situated on the trunk route connecting the other main cities.”
Now mark the differences between earlier pic with current pic, clicked today on 26th August, 2012.
There are few more pics to show –
Pilgrims in queue
Clicking a clicker
Pilgrim and monk
© Sushil Kumar