Going by much of the hysteria over a corporate house winning a contract to ‘adopt’ Delhi’s Red Fort for five years, one should be forgiven for believing that GoI has sold the 16th-century monument(स्मारक/यादगार) for a pocketful of shells(गोले/ढांचा).Reading the contract signed between the ministry of tourism, the ministry of culture, the Archaeological(पुरातत्व) Survey of India (ASI) and the Dalmia Bharat Group, a far less scandalous(अपमानपूर्ण/अपवादजनक) picture emerges: that of a publicprivate partnership (PPP) in an arena where government has underachieved and underfunded for decades.

Conservation(संरक्षण) in India has long been held ransom(फिरौती/रिहाई) to a ‘dog in the manger’ ideology(विचारधारा/चित्तवृत्ति): if we, as government, don’t have the wherewithal to maintain and restore our national monuments and sites — the operative word being ‘national’ — then no one else should be allowed to either. The effect of this kind of thinking is not just evident in the way our monuments, historical sites and buildings have been maintained, but it has also made us grow suspicious(संदेहजनक/संशय का) of non-governmental enthusiasm(उत्साह/उमंग) in ‘non-profit’ fields per se. Such suspicion, when kept at reasonable levels of scepticism(संदेहवाद/अविश्‍वास), however, is not a bad thing by itself. A monitoring system — under the ASI or a ‘monuments committee’, as has been directed in GoI’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ programme of which the Red Fort-Dalmia partnership is an example — is essential(आवश्यक). Red lines must be drawn, the job at hand and progress report specified transparently. This is hardly the first time that corporate help is being sought, and met, for the upkeep of our monuments. It has, however, spluttered in the past, not because of any entity’s desire to go beyond CSR obligations, but for not having a visibly successful policy in place. The proof of the PPP pudding of conservation is in the maintaining(बनाये रखना). India’s historical treasures deserve all the support and expertise(विशेषज्ञता) they can get.


Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: gravestone, headstone, marker, masterpiece, mausoleum

Synonyms: defamatory, disgraceful, heinous, outrageous, scurrilous
Antonyms : good, magnificent, respectable, wonderful, proper

Synonyms: bribe, compensation, deliverance, expiation, payment

Synonyms: care, conservancy, control, maintenance, management
Antonyms : ignorance, neglect, negligence, destruction, spending

Synonyms: creed, culture, dogma, outlook, philosophy



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