Why Red Fort is in the eye of a storm

Dr Amna Mirza | May 7, 2018


#Red Fort   #Mounuments  

With the recent agreement between Tourism ministry and Dalmia Bharat under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ plan, the Red Fort is stepping into the eye of a storm. The adoption is being pegged as a non-revenue generation exercise which will also boost tourism.

Concerns over handout to private sector are being allayed by the government stating that it was a party parliamentary committee. No doubt that preservation, brand visibility, corporate social responsibility and innovation in governance deserve appreciation. However noble aims and grandiose plans do not account for success of policy.

The tourism ministry’s announcement of an agreement with Dalmia Bharat allowing the private firm to “adopt” the Red Fort has triggered sharp responses from political parties and a section of civil society over fears of handover of a monument that has stood as a symbol of national integration. 

The move has triggered sharp criticism from political parties and a section of civil society. Doubts are being raised whether it is a maintenance contract or a concealed lease agreement. Furthermore, the fort has been adopted by only Rs 25 crores which is too less in front of the money being spent on advertisements, not to forget the colossal amount for Sardar Patel statue. How is it possible that the same government does not have Rs 25 crores for the maintenance of the Red Fort.

If cost-benefit analysis is the yardstick, then why not allow private players looking at the fact that there is a long list of Monument Mitras, to construct the planned statues in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and thereby save revenues of exchequer.

Such money minded politics inhibit the development of the state. With present institutional arrangements and challenges, will the crony capitalists lend help in adopting the mission to eradicate poverty, unemployment, etc.?

By saying that private players would be allowed for branding, it is akin to legitimacy for introduction of market mechanisms. The move is being implemented without giving due thought on the alternatives of monuments’ maintenance.

One can sense the process of privatisation. It cannot be neglected that privatisation has been embarked even by most conservative governments across the world.

Time will be better answer to the perplexing question that whether it will be a decisive break from hitherto model of management of our historical reserves. One needs to analyse future path dependency too, as this initial restructuring will impact further evolution of ownership patterns.

Public private partnerships have several interpretations of their cooperation which are becoming much more sophisticated now.
The success of any such collaboration should be gauged not from merely fiscal aspect but also from the societal change it brings. Further to establish its advantages is a difficult exercise.

Private money has entered in all avenues of public plain, so why not historical monuments as well. Idea of adopting heritage was even welcomed by Vajpayee regime and other later governments too. Indian legacy is too expensive and strong that it can be wiped out by any Fort row.

Dr Mirza is assistant professor, political science, University of Delhi
 

Comments

 

Other News

Govt approves stepping up of Remdesivir Drug production

The government has reviewed the issue of availability of Remdesivir Drug and has decided to increase the production and decrease the price of the drug. The government has​ also issued a ban on its export. Remdesivir is the first drug approved by the FDA for treating the SAR

NCSC Online Grievance Management Portal for scheduled castes

Union Minister for Communication & IT and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) in the presence of Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Rattan Lala Kata

In Maharashtra, what’s allowed, what’s not

Essential services allowed: 1) Hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, vaccinations, medical insurance offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, other medical and health services including supporting manufacturing and distribution units. This would also include dealers, transpo

Maharashtra goes under ‘Janata curfew’, restrictions from tonight

Striving to control the deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, the Maharashtra government has imposed prohibition on the gathering of more than four people as well as night curfew from Wednesday till May 1. Starting 8 pm Wednesday, Section 144 of CrPC (prohibition on the gathering of mor

Govt launches e-marketplace for aqua farmers

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. It aims to enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute to use a drone for coalfield survey

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted a conditional exemption to Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) for surveying in coalfield areas of Coal India Ltd. The drones will be deployed for the acquisition of d

Visionary talk series with Nupur Sharma, National Spokesperson, BJP



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter