Shabana’s latest mission – save the Taj Mahal

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

Mumbai : Now that the Taj Mahal has been preserved among the new Seven Wonders of the World, actress and activist Shabana Azmi is worried about the imminent erosion of the monument.

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She isn’t happy at the thought of Indians sitting smugly with the thought that we’ve made it into the Seven Wonders list.

“What about the imminent perils that the monument faces? Something needs to be done about the levels of pollution that are slowly eroding the Taj Mahal,” Shabana told IANS in an interview.

“Also, we Indians may be emotional about it. But the physical connectivity to the Taj Mahal is, at the most, bearable. One still needs to go by road from Delhi to the Taj Mahal. Isn’t it about time Agra got an international airport to go with the global image that the city possesses because of the Taj?” she asked.

One of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, the monument was made by emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shabana intends to campaign intensely to save the splendour of the Taj Mahal from that aura of jaded smugness that has come to surround it.

“We need to be made aware that the monument won’t endure our complacency forever. And, yes, I intend to recreate a consciousness about its value to us.”

She also thanks new technology for making it possible for the Taj Mahal to find a place in the new Seven Wonders of the World list.

“Who says the SMS is a subverted naughty technology? It has made life so much easier for all of us. Javed and I are constantly on the SMS (although he doesn’t believe in short forms and takes much longer time to type messages).

“The SMS saved the Taj Mahal at the Seven Wonders! I personally sent out 100 SMSs for the Taj Mahal. What a beautiful merger of timelessness and technology!”