Heritage is best described as the “ Legacy of the Past “. UNESCO has declared the Heritage week to be conducted Worldwide between November 19th and 25th. The purpose is not only to create awareness but to sustain it for the future generations. The logic seems to be great but a thorough analysis of the status of the Heritage sites gives a dismal picture. What we want at the moment is not just declaration or celebration but something beyond it. Are we good enough to shield them from natural disasters ,thefts etc ? Do we show any inclination to protect them? We are really good at talking tall on topics like Archeology, inscriptions, History and so on. Should n’t we feel ashamed of our great Heritage sites getting disfigured,damaged and always under the threat of thefts?
We come across many people in the name of Enthusiasts everywhere. There job is to visit historical sites, take as many photographs as possible, create albums and share them openly. It may be a hobby for them to write blogs and publish the photos of rare sculptures, bronzes and other icons. Surely it is worthful to watch . But then we forget the real threat staring at these monuments and sculptures. Many countries have lost several Historical sculptures and icons for many decades. Have we ever learnt lessons to prevent further thefts from happening ? Have we tightened the Law accordingly which can prescribe severe punishment for the wrong doers?
Unfortunately the so called enthusiasts defend themselves by saying that their work has helped to identify the stolen objects and put the culprits behind the bars. Nobody denies it but the fact remains that the number of the stolen items are much more than the few antics that were recovered. Perhaps they don’t believe in the proverb, "Prevention is the best medicine” .What they do now is a post mortem job. Well. It may help the police to trace the criminals. But we want a permanent solution to prevent the thefts and damages at our Historical sites.
It is not that easy to bring back the stolen antics if they are smuggled out of the country. The legal battle runs for several years and everything depends on how soon the verdict is delivered. Assuming the stolen antics are brought back to the originating country, how many of them are restored in their original places? For lack of protection, the recovered items are housed inside huge cells or Museums and the very purpose of their presence in the original places is lost.
It is not known why the courts do not insist on the respective Governments to make arrangements at the place of origin and ensure their safety. In the absence of the Court’s directive, the concerned Government can undertake the responsibility of protecting the monuments and antics. Shifting the icons from one place to other in the name of safety is a sign of washing the hands.