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Today is Mirza Ghalib's birth anniversary, but who cares!

Afsar Ahmad

Updated: December 27, 2013, 4:01 PM IST
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This is a nearly 14-year-old incident. I was new to journalism. While working on a story about monuments and history of Agra I got a chance to visit Ghalib's birthplace. I reached the Ghalib Haveli near Rawat Padha where he was born. It was called Suraj Bhan mansion at that time.

I had already been told by my seniors that it is disputed area and so I was being very cautious. But I decided to cover this story at any cost. I told my fellow cameraman about this. Sensing a chance we entered the mansion and the cameraman immediately started to shoot. Within a minute a sharp and loud voice echoed. A man questioned our presence there. I argue that it is Ghalib's birthplace and so we are shooting there. He quickly came close to us and angrily gesticulated to stop the camera.

I knew that it would be a problem if we tried to protest. I told the cameraman to stop shooting. However, we returned to office and ran the story. Many people have done stories on it but nothing has happened.

No aggressive local or national media campaign has run on this topic. Everyone knows it but no one speaks about Ghalib's birthplace.

It is certainly a strange situation. Ghalib is considered the king of Urdu poetry, but no one bothers about him. In Agra there is no campaign to declare the memorial of Ghalib a national monument or any work that reminds it is the city of Ghalib. In fact Delhi took away Ghalib from Agra and he is remembered now in the 5-star facilities of the national capital.

What is even more surprising is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav spending huge amount of money on Saifai festival. I am afraid that he has very little knowledge about Ghalib. There is no comparison between a Saifai festival and celebrations for Ghalib.

Well, it's not only about UP. The Centre spends money in Delhi in the name of Ghalib but ignores Agra.

For VIPs Delhi is a good place to remember Ghalib and who cares about Agra!

Today is the birthday of Ghalib. I am feeling anxious and restless. Akhilesh is busy with Saifai festival while for the Center Ghalib is to be celebrated only in Delhi and not Agra.

Let me remind you that Agra is not only the city of Taj but also the birthplace of many renowned poets. Galib, Nazir Akbarabadi and Mir Taki Mir were some of them.

Yes, there are some efforts by the people of Agra. But the question remains - why are we least bother about our culture, history and legacy.
First Published: December 27, 2013, 4:01 PM IST

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