Palpable History

old fort

Indian history is more than 10,000 years old. It existed before any religion, before the world was discovered, before England had a ruler. But perhaps the most interesting part about India is not only how old its history is but how every inch of the country plays a role, however insignificant, in shaping it. Yet, we feel the need to reduce that precious heritage to rubble and cherish what belongs to others.

Indian traditions, and I don’t necessarily mean Hindu traditions, all have very logical roots. But what seems to ruffle my feathers the wrong way is that the preachers of this great sub continent, only refer to our history after independence. The great Indian emperor Asoka lived before Christ; Buddhism originated in India. We never talk about any of that. We never propagate it. Don’t believe me? Alright, let me give you an example. When one thinks of heritage or history, the first things that comes to mind are either the Taj Mahal in Agra or the forts and palaces of Rajasthan. No one even talks about Delhi!

The city of Delhi is more than just a political hub for the country’s liars to preach nonsense. The grand city of Delhi is historically made up of 7 older cities. It was not only the seat of the British Empire before India’s Independence but also the capital of the Mughal Empire and many more before them. The sheer history that this city provides is astounding. There seems to be a tomb or fort almost at every corner! And yet sadly, no one gives this great city the credit it deserves, only the villainous titles that the media prefers.

But perhaps it is the fault of the people who live here. There are no regulations. Unfortunately, the city that housed traders and craftsmen now largely shelters thugs and thieves. The city limits have overflowed to such an extent that it cannot keep up with the needs of its people. The ruling Government parties in their zest to only win elections on the basis of false promises dwindled the lights of the city into a maelstrom of confusion. They have let the city fall into a situation of desperate decay to practice their communal politics.

I truly believe that the quality of a city, or rather its pulse, is determined by its people. But with the conniving, calculating knaves that promise to take over this wondrous city, one is left astounded as to how it is still standing. The streets of the old city are a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval arches once trod by mystics and invading armies. Minarets bathed in red sandstone under the fading light of the summer sun, while the wind still carried the memory of magic, revolution, and an age forgotten. And our thugs, dressed in their finery, make the whole city seem like a theatre with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.

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