Tilak's Kesari wada razed to the ground

A piece of heritage sacrificed at the altar of market

Uma Dongre | February 1, 2013



Commerce is replacing heritage. Lokmanya Tilak's Kesari wada, the historic spot in Pune, has been razed to the ground. Coming up in its place is a residential and commercial complex.

Kesari Wada had been declared a heritage structure, but was later declared to be of no heritage value. It's a pity that only the Pune Mirror newspaper covered the news. Our history, our culture have been sold to builders by our corrupt politicians and corporators. I'm ashamed of Pune.

A heritage structure has been sold. What next? Aga Khan Palace? Their argument is that Kesari Wada, from where Tilak launched his newspaper Kesari and started the tradition of Ganeshotsavs, was only linked to Tilak by association. Come to think of it, even the Aga Khan palace is linked to Gandhi by association only. Will they sell it and tear it down too? A shameful, tragic day for all of us Punekars.

The government doesn't hesitate to grab land even by shooting down farmers. Why was it so difficult for them to acquire kesari wada? Pune's soul has been sold. What is left to sell now? A tragic and shameful day has dawned for us Punekars and a vital piece of history is lost forever.

 

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