Maharashtra & the struggle to preserve its heritage
May 23, 2017
Maharashtra is a land of paradoxes. Its heritage, though extremely magnificent on papers, is now nowhere to be seen in its complete glory. The forts and temples built by the ancient dynasties (Satvahana, Chalukya, Yadava etc) and later on by the Maratha empire were largely destroyed by the Mughals and the British east India company. Had the Marathas ever befriended the Mughals or East India company, they wouldn’t have faced such wipe out situation ever. But Marathas were too proud to not be self-destructive.
Today, there are no external enemies to destroy these monuments but the job is taken up by the citizens themselves. The forts in Maharashtra are mostly located on hill tops and provide excellent opportunity for some easy – medium difficulty level of trekking. They are visited by a large number of people, mostly enthusiasts who have no idea or value of the heritage that the monuments carry. They feel nothing wrong about spoiling or littering around (most of the Indians don’t, sadly). Such people cannot be completely blamed for their ignorance. The bigger culprits are government bodies who have no interest in the restoration or maintenance of such places. The same amount of apathy goes with the state’s official language ‘Marathi’ and it’s sub languages, literature and folk arts.
I was raised in a family and school that taught me our values, encouraged to learn more about our history and read more in my mother tongue. I feel it is very important rather necessary for any person to know his or her roots. For that, the first step is to create interest in understanding the heritage. It breaks my heart when I see the next generation knowing so little about the land they are born in and it’s culture. I just wish we rise above the dirty politics, unhygienic habits and ignorance towards our own heritage and do something to understand and restore it… the least of all to respect it.