THIS is with reference to Sikander Ali Shah’s letter ‘An epitaph for Madhubala’ (July 21).
I tend to agree with the writer. Madhubala was undoubtedly a silver screen queen of yesteryear. The graves included that of singer Mohammad Rafi, whose anniversary has just passed. He was duly remembered by his fans and their sentiments were reflected in these pages recently.
I am saddened to learn that the graves of other film icons were also desecrated under the very nose of Mumbai municipal authorities.
It is pathetic how builders’ mafias are indifferent to dead people, who are not even safe in their last resting place?
What is more distressing is that it is the custodians of a Muslim cemetery who have sold the space to a Mumbai business tycoon, as disclosed in a subsequent letter (July 25).
In our country too the situation is not much different from that of Mumbai. The reports regarding stealing beautiful engraved stone slabs from Talpur tombs and the Chowkhandi and Makli necropolis regularly appear in these pages.
A few years ago, 40 antiquated seals were stolen from the Moenjodaro Museum. Unfortunately, nothing has been heard since then about the fate of such important heritage treasures. Lakhyanjodaro, a site of Indus civilization, is also under threat from the builders’ mafia.
Hyderabad Fort, from the Kalhora period, is vanishing right before our eyes, despite the apex court’s ruling for its restoration. Similarly, the world-famous necropolis within the limits of Soonda village and other such archaeological sites of Sindh are in criminal neglect.
It would be better to put our own house in order before extending grievances beyond our borders.
PROF LAL BAKHSH JISKANI
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
University of Sindh