Do we hate our past

I was walking yesterday at one of the town in France; it is called Rennes a beautiful town surrounded by lots of old buildings. My friend showed me a massive building which was built sometime around early 19th century and used to be a post office for the this area which is called Bretagne. Then we walked in a street which it self must have been 100’s of year old but still like old days, the city it self had been planned around those historic building. I saw a majority of old buildings around this city, beautifully kept and preserved for generation ahead to show them the past of the country and this society. This is not about only Rennes or France; one can visit any country of Europe and will find preserved building of historic times.

I was quite entangled by the question that Indian history and the civilization is must be older then any of European, if not older then contemporary but we in India don’t seem to preserve our old heritage, the old towns and the buildings are collapsing day by day on the name of development and society does not seem to be worry about it.

I asked my self why?

Do we hate our history or it’s so alien to us that instead of preserving it we would help to demolish? Why in India we don’t seem to give our heritage the remark what Europe or other nations of this world are quite keen on giving? What is the reason of our battle with history? Is it because we don’t have anything from history to proud on or to keep a memory of our past to show our kids? Or we just don’t understand our history? Or this nation has nothing to teach on from history to this coming generation.

I was visiting a coastal town of Gujrat few months back with one of my friend and we both loved old buildings, he had superior knowledge of buildings and architecture but I just found them lovely. We were very sorry to see the current condition of those buildings some were older then Europe’s recent past. We did not understand why people are just ready to demolish those buildings and destroy the ancient touch that we have with our history. We both wandered the whole city, discussing whole day about the buildings and structures sometime ago build by our historic fathers.

I remember an old building which used to be part of the palace which was turned as a college long ago(no one can find better solution then this) but in a very fragile state, the whole building seems to be very beautiful but was on verge of collapse, it was not kept well and a monument of great architecture was out to be lost ( I pray it shall not)

The same situation I saw at various places in Rajasthan when I visited there several times recently. I was at Hanumangarh a busting town and nearby was a site (Kalibanga) comprising the city of Harrappa and Mohanjo-daro civilization. I was sad to see the current status of the site. A village man who unearthed the site long back showed me some pictures of that excavation and I was astonished to see how beautifully it was planned. But now the whole site is lost there is nothing left except a place which s fully destroyed by excavation and rain. Nothing was done to keep the site as it was excavated to show the marvellous thinking of the old civilization that resided there long before our arrival.

I must say a society so entangled in the history how can avoid to see the misery in which these historical monuments built on social character that manifested through the architecture is led to be in this grave situation, do we as Indian really hate our past? Do we really want to dislodge the history that had shaped us? Do we really want to destroy the history, which is still vast and hidden in those monuments and structure erected by our historic fathers?

India a country which hold to future but does not seem to understand that future is the manifestation of past and if we want to create a better future we would have to keep our past very well.

India is a country of self-denial but I still search whether that self-denial is of itself or about existence. What is the aspect of our self-denying attitude towards the history or a kind of mixed behavior rooted in our communist understanding of historic burden that we want to throw out.

I walked in this beautiful town with all the images of India and her great history but I can not talk to even someone, to say look we also have a history because I don’t know the time I will return India if there will be anything that can outnumber the history chapter of French society.

I returned back to my the place where I am staying with a great admiration to the society which hold her history not to compare the future with historic past but to get reminded and to announce to this world that they had their past and a history.

- V

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