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Awadh royal family scion plans stir to save heritage buildings

Direct descendants of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah have decided to launch a full-fledged movement to save the city’s rich heritage.

lucknow Updated: Mar 24, 2017 13:16 IST
Oliver Fredrick
Oliver Fredrick
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Chhota Imambada,Nawab Wajid Ali Shah,Awadh royal family
Damaged walls of Chhota Imambada(HT File Photo)

Pained to see the Chhota Imambada falling into decay, direct descendants of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah have decided to launch a full-fledged movement to save the city’s rich heritage, a reminder of the nawabi era and a testimony to history.

They are also going to take up the issue with newly elected chief minister Aditya Nath Yogi, seeking his immediate intervention in the ‘sad state of affairs’.

“I can’t say about others but my heart bleeds every time I receive a WhatsApp image highlighting the crumbling monuments in the state capital, as it is something personal for me,” said Asif Ali Mirza, a direct descendant of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the last ruler of Awadh.

Mirza lives in Metiabruz, Kolkata, the place where Wajid Ali Shah spent his life after he was exiled on February 7, 1856.

Asif Ali Mirza (HT Photo)

Mirza’s reaction came after Hindustan Times highlighted the decaying state of Chhota Imambara that appeared in its March 18 edition. “I was moved to see the condition of Chhota Imambara and was equally shocked over the apathetic approach of the agencies (Hussainabad and Allied Trust (HAT) and Archaeological Survey of India) responsible for its upkeep,” Mirza told HT.

He said the agencies seemed more interesting in minting money than preserving the monuments. “Nothing concrete has been done so far to strengthen these over-a -century-old structures. Be it the preserving agencies or the tourism department, all seems busy in making money than spending some in the upkeep of the monuments,” he said.

“It is time to launch a movement against the irregularities,” the royal scion said. He said his family, as well as other royal families from Kolkata and from the state capital,were planning to launch a movement.

“Our movement is aimed at bringing real, not cosmetic development to the nawabi era structures, an intrinsic part of the city’s rich heritage. It will comprise demonstrations at the prime heritage spots. The demonstrators would also hand over a memorandum of demands to the state government,” he added.

He also lauded the efforts of the SP government for carrying out extensive beautification work in the Old City area and said he was hopeful that the new government would ensure development the same way.

Read more| Neglected heritage: The inside truth about Chhota Imambada’s ‘beauty’

First Published: Mar 24, 2017 13:16 IST