Answering Nanda!

Countering our charge of wilful destruction of the monuments by reconstructions in the name of conservation, Ratish Nanda of Agha Khan Trust told ‘Newslaundry’ that:

a) I (Nadeem Rezavi), Prof Shireen Moosvi and Professor Irfan Habib have “a political agenda”! And we want to drag the name of Modiji in this!

b) That they brought all the essentials (tiles etc) from Central Asia “ artisans from where built the tomb”!

I would just like to reiterate that it is not only us who opposed the vandalism! All professional historians in India (except some individuals) have done so! And the proof is the Resolution passed by the JNU session of the Indian History Congress in 2014. (Attached as Photo)

Secondly had Mr Nanda paused to look at the original sandstone slabs lining the floors of the platform of the tomb, he would have seen for himself the names and marks of the original craftsmen involved in construction work! All are indigenous (Hindu) names written in Nagri! Had he read some basic works on this issue (works of Pushpa Prasad, RNath, my book and papers, even the book Complete Taj by Ebba Koch!) what to talk about primary sources like the Ain-i Akbari, he would have realised that since Sultanate period, the structures might be conceived and designed by Central Asian architects, the actual execution was by the locals! (See Photo 2)

Further, Ratishji, could you also justify please why within a couple of years of finishing “renovations” and spending crores in the process, your new plasters are pealing off? Or could you also elaborate as to from which Mughal sources did you get the formula of making Mughal mortar? Incidentally the Mughal plaster remains steadfast even after centuries! Which experts of history did you consult? What was the need to scrap off the full layer of original mortar and consequent loss of designs and murals over them? Why did you violated every rule laid out since 19th Century in India on the Conservation of Monuments, specially the very important Manual of Conservation by Sir John Marshall?

There are many many more questions which beg for an answer! Incidentally these questions cannot be satisfactorily answered with a cool tall glass in our hands!

Newslaudry Report