The chorus to save the century-old Sultan Palace in Patna has grown louder with many people on Wednesday taking their protest online against the Bihar government’s move to demolish the historic landmark to build a five-star hotel. The call on Twitter was made by a few netizens and by evening the tweets to appeal to not demolish the iconic building started showing up. a large number of tweets were made, all carrying a common hashtag — #SaveSultanPalace.
From small towns in Bihar to big cities like Delhi and Kolkata, people joined in to raise their voice against the government’s move and many tagged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s official account and appealed to him to not dismantle the palace. “Dear CM @NitishKumar Ji kindly to you, historical place should not be demolished… I hope you will close demolitions process. #SaveSultanPalace," wrote user @Ramholkar_ on Twitter.
He also asked people to “question the process of demolition of historic buildings". Another user @Sahilrazvii wrote in Hindi, “A handful of historic buildings are left in Patna. Sultan Palace is among them and a rare specimen of mixed architecture. Government has decided to demolish it to make a five-star hotel. On this decision, historians and civil society members want to oppose it vehemently."
A large number of users who joined the trend also posted pictures of Sultan Palace. Recently, historians, conservationists and ordinary citizens of the country had vehemently opposed this decision and appealed to the government to preserve and restore the “architectural icon" and not raze a veritable “pride of Patna".
Sultan Palace, located on the historic Gardiner Road (now Beer Chand Patel Road) near R-Block area, was built in 1922 by the legendary barrister of Patna, Sir Sultan Ahmed, who also briefly served as a judge in the Patna High Court and as the first Indian vice-chancellor of the Patna University from 1923-30. Many citizen-led initiatives having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, such as Lost Muslim Heritage of Bihar, HeritageTimes, Pedal4Planet also extended support to it and appealed to save the palace for posterity.
“5star hotel!!! iconic monument listed by Bihar Government itself, also a perfect candidate for ‘A heritage category hotel in the capital’ What stopping YOU to make a dream possible???, When you already wanted it before…#savesultanpalace," asked Twitter user @Diptanashu, and shared a news report on the protest the move is facing from several quarters. Many other users also tweeted that “the decision to demolish Sultan Palace is beyond comprehension". Some of them suggested replicating the heritage hotel concept of Rajasthan in Patna and using the land available in the palatial campus to build a hotel.
User @Athar09323952 called to “save the heritage of our country as these are the eyes of our glorious past". “People’s relationship to their heritage is the same as the relationship of a child to its mother," he also tweeted by quoting John Henrik Clarke and used the hashtag #SaveSultanPalace.
“Raise your voice and keep tweeting #SaveSultanPalace. Strongly support #SaveSultanPalace," @ZiddiParwez tweeted.