It's a string of sevens that India would surely want to be a part of. On 7/7/7, or July 7 if you please, the world will get its new seven wonders of the world. And, among the list of probables is India's own, Taj Mahal. The catch, however, is that the Taj needs nearly 30 crore votes to make it to the list.
How to vote for the Taj:
SMS on 4567 or call landline number 1255545 to register your vote.
To do it online, log on to http://www.new7wonders.com/index.php?id=409
Millions across the globe are expected to vote online or on phone till July 6 to select the seven new wonders from a list of 21. The campaign to replace the old wonders of the world – of which only the pyramids of Egypt remain – is being run by a privately funded organisation from Zurich in Switzerland, The New7Wonders Foundation (N7W). The list includes the Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Japan's Kiyomizu Temple, Machu Picchu in Peru, The Easter Island Statue – Chile, Kiyomizu Temple in Japan, The Sydney Opera House, The Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the city of Timbuktu in Mali. With, the Pyramids already there in the list, there are just six slots to be filled.
The N7W campaign began in 2001. At the end of 2005, the N7W panel chose 21 candidates from the top 77 nominees that had earned the most votes, and these 21 are now in the final stage of the competition. The official N7W 21 finalist candidates were announced by the panel's President and former UNESCO Director General, Prof Federico Mayor, on January 1, 2006 in Zurich. The new list will be announced at a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal, on July 7.
Interestingly, while the new wonders will be drawn after millions across the globe vote their favourites, the original seven wonders of the world were listed by one man, Philon of Byzantium in 200 BC. He chose the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Artemis, Zeus’s statue, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Pyramids of Egypt. For the last 500 years or so, only the Pyramids remain and the new list will be out in less than seven weeks from now.
The problem for getting the Taj on the list on the new wonders of the world is that though India has the numbers, internet penetration and awareness about the ongoing campaign are rather low. "When the list of 21 was drawn, Taj Mahal ranked the 20th. It received only 1.6 per cent of the total votes. It was really a close shave," says Bharat Kapadia, Executive Director, I Media Corporation Limited (IMCL) – the company that will launch the Vote for Taj campaign on May 21.
"AR Rahman has composed a special anthem for the campaign to put the Taj on the list. It will be played on TV. We are also planning 15-city concerts. The idea is to generate a nation-wide wave," Kapadia adds. "It is very tough to get the required numbers. We estimate 30 crore votes should take Taj Mahal to the top of the list," he adds. The country has roughly half that number of mobile, landline and internet connections. Converting these numbers into votes is the challenge.
(with inputs from Gaurav Bhagowati)