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A country without a history is like a man without memory, says art historian Goswamy in Chandigarh

BN Goswamy was the chief guest at the national seminar on Monuments of Punjab: A Study of Art and Architectural Heritage of Medieval Times in Present Punjab organised at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College.

punjab Updated: Nov 28, 2017 13:55 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
art historian,Padma Shree awardee,BN Goswamy
Eminent art historian Subhash Parihar being felicitated during the seminar on architectural heritage of medieval times in present Punjab at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh, on Monday. (HT Photos)

‘A country without a history is like a man without memory,” said Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree awardee art historian and critic, BN Goswamy.

He was the chief guest at the national seminar on Monuments of Punjab: A Study of Art and Architectural Heritage of Medieval Times in Present Punjab organised at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26 and sponsored by Indian Council of Historical Research. ‘If we don’t know our past how will we know where we are going?’ he said.

Eminent art historian Subhash Parihar talks about the monuments of Punjab in the seminar.

Lack of concern for quality restoration

Eminent art historian, Subhash Parihar, delivered the keynote address. He talked about the monuments of Punjab that survived and those which were demolished either naturally or due to negligence.

Parihar showed monuments from Indian and Pakistani Punjab, their previous and present-day condition. He said, “The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is actually destroying the monuments in the name of restoration, as they do not care for the quality.” Showing the ‘sarais’ of Mughal era, he said, “Class-10 textbooks say that Sher Shah Suri built all the ‘sarais’ . However, no sarais built in his period have survived till this day. Lack of interest in history and its conservation is worrying.”

He showed pictures of the tomb of Amanat Khan, the calligrapher of Taj Mahal and its poor condition.

He said, “A meaningful study on Sikh history is not possible without studying these monuments.” “The young generation should preserve their history,” he said.

Destroying footprints of time

Goswamy said, “We are destroying the footprints of time. The monuments are disappearing, raising a concern to save our history.” He said, “ASI repairing the monuments is actually turning swans into crows. Is this our sensitivity to our heritage?”

He mentioned how Winston Churchill during the World War 2 was asked by someone to reduce the budget for the arts so that they could spend more on war but Churchill replied with a question, “What are we fighting for? It is to save our culture and arts that we are fighting.”

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 13:08 IST