While fighting for “Heritage Preservation”, Relevance of understanding true meaning of Heritage ---------- Dr Rajesh Jauhri


                     File Photo: - Kushalgarh Fort

Some self-proclaimed heritage activists have raised their voices against demolition of a 150-year-old building, which was part of the contract for constructing a new Army school building in Mhow cantonment of Madhya Pradesh. They are advocating for the preservation of this old structure, arguing that it is an integral part of Mhow's heritage and should be left untouched.

While it is important to value and preserve our heritage, it is essential to consider the context and relevance of each structure. In this era of the Indian government removing signs of British heritage, replacing legislations, statues and insignias of British era, it is necessary to reassess significance of this structure of colonial era. These attempts to save an old British building do not align with the current direction of honoring our indigenous heritage.

Instead, if the aim is to preserve the rich historical legacy of Mhow, there are alternative options. Sites like small fortresses of Holkars in Neuguradiya village  Choti Jaam village, Badi Jaam villge, Yashwantnagar village, Janapao (the birthplace of revered saint Maharshi Parashuram), Kushalgarh Fort near Patalpani Waterfall, Kajligarh Fort near Simrol, and Khodra Mahadev near Choral Dam offer glimpses into the glorious past of the region. These structures hold stories of bravery, valor, and cultural heritage that ought to be cherished and preserved.

We must take this into account that the hallowed grounds of Samadis, Graves and Chatris marking the final resting places of some of the Indian subcontinent's greatest warriors, resonate with profound historical significance. These monuments stand as enduring tributes to the valor and sacrifices of legendary figures such as Peshwa Bajirao (only 70 kms from Mhow), Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga and numerous others but if we look at their present state, we find that they are slowly and steadily turning into ruins. Each of these structures encapsulates stories of heroism, tales of epic battles fought, and the indomitable spirit of those who gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

As a persuasive influencer, it is essential to acknowledge the concerns raised by the activists while guiding them towards alternative solutions. By redirecting efforts towards the preservation of lesser-known but historically significant sites like Kushalgarh and Kajligarh Fort, we can ensure that our indigenous heritage remains intact and celebrated. I also wish to share with my activist friends that there existed two very old forts between the Choral field firing range and Kalakund hills in the name of Chandgarh and Rasulgarh. They have completely buried in the soil of the hills where they used to stand with pride, once upon a time. They could be found in the old maps of revenue and Army and a movement for search, excavation and restoration of those forts could be a very nice and appropriate service towards the heritage. It is crucial to strike a balance between preserving heritage and embracing the cultural evolution of a nation.

Together, let us champion the cause of preserving our rich heritage and ensure that future generations can connect with the glorious history of the Indian subcontinent. By embracing our cultural roots and celebrating the bravery of our ancestors, we can inspire and motivate generations to come.