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Moenjodaro: same ruins, two versions


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RECENTLY I visited Moenjodaro along with my family, one of the world’s heritage sites. The visit was a nightmare in terms of a choatic parking place, unhygienic eating outlets, and uncleaned toilets. But I am restricting myself not to comment on the environment of the site.

However, I intend to share an alarming encounter with readers. While I was buying tickets, I inquired from the ticket-seller about a guide. He directed me to the museum. I went there, and found none.

We started on our own. As we entered the site, a person came and introduced himself as the guide. We hired him. He provided information most politely. Before we departed, he concluded: “Up to now the experts are not sure about the cause of the site’s destruction.” We paid him the agreed remuneration, and he went on his way.

After some time, while we were resting there to catch our breath, the same guide appeared there along with another group. I was upset to overhear his concluding remarks: “It became a city of vices, so God destroyed it.”

I inquired from him about his different versions. He told me that the tour time gives him a chance to know about the mindset of the visitors. If it is religious, then he tells them that the cause of the destruction was vice. However, if the group falls in the opposite category, then he ends the tour with a rational conclusion.

He went on to say that he hailed from a nearby village and after having “some business negotiation with the site officials”, he is allowed to work there as a guide.

The whole narration shocked me as to how business interests are compelling individuals, officials or private, to conceal facts and promote myths.

The Department of Culture, Sindh, should be more vigilant regarding the various interpretations about the ruins. If proper measures are taken, then it would educate the visitors to understand the science of archaeology rather than to believe in myths.


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Comments (10) Closed

Sceptic Jan 11, 2013 06:54pm
@Ahmed You made a prophetic statement. I doubt if people will understand you. But thubs up for a great insight.
Almanar Jan 10, 2013 08:58pm
It's funny. You say something against Pakistan you get tons of thumbs ups. You generalize the same thing, you get thumbs downs.
Edwardian Jan 10, 2013 11:18am
@Anon. I had a glimpse of Taj Mahal's guided tour in Slum Dog Millionaire.
Cynical Jan 10, 2013 12:53pm
In most part of the third world you will find the same story.
Fidaly Jan 10, 2013 04:25pm
Why are you shocked this is Pakistan where lies galore. Atleast the guide didn't say that the Mohenjodaro was an Islamic Paradise
Anon Jan 10, 2013 04:11am
lol what do you expect? This is pakistan.
umesh bhagwat Jan 10, 2013 10:25pm
A nation which does not preserve its past has no future!
Kris Jan 10, 2013 04:34pm
I visited the site in early 60's. Living there during that period and talking about our heritage with our people, I found that our culture did not value our heritage. The site I used to read in our books was spelled as "Mohan jo Daro". Then it changed to "Moenjodaro" which means the place of dead. We should make up our mind, is it Mohan Jo Daro or Moenjodaro? We are rich with our heritage all our our country. We should respect, preserve, protect and save our heritage sites for our children and the world to learn from our history. We should also encourage atmosphere and development to promote tourism of our heritage sites.
Ahmed Jan 11, 2013 02:40am
The guide is to be commended for his common sense and honesty. Two virtues that have been increasingly replaced by a false rendering of Islam in Pakistan.
Imran Ahsan Jan 10, 2013 04:04pm
With his religious conclusion Pakistan is soon to become Moenjodoro.