Reference “Protect Mubarak Mandi”(Editorial) Daily Excelsior dated July 31, 2021. Rightly observed that having a Heritage Hotel in Mubarak Mandi complex to invite tourists and thus generate income, is nothing but a futile exercise to injure and erode the Dogra identity and also the violation of J&K Ancient Monument Preservation Act.
More resentment from civil society, or on behalf of political parties and other social organisations with an appeal to LG to stop desecration to such a prestigious monument of historical and cultural importance, are also being covered by the local press daily for the information of one and all. And I personally believe that the LG, keeping in view the emotional attachment of the Jammuites as also the bylaws to preserve such a sacred and State declared protected monument, will direct the concerned agencies not to effect any change or alteration to disturb its sanctity. Even, few years back, when the State Assembly was rocked after floating a Tender for the construction of the same Heritage Hotel at the same place, the then CM shelved this proposal there and then.
Strange enough that this Society have reopened this issue once again not only to hurt the sentiments of Jammuites but also to finish the over all structure of a majestic monument of architectural beauty and having historial as well as cultural importance .
Further, may I add to the knowledge of Raman Suri and the others who waste no time to quote Rajasthan while appreciating the commercialisation of Mubarak Mandi Palaces, that we are much ahead of Rajasthan in having a Hotel, a Museum, a Resort and above all the Governor House (Raj Bhawan) in the same premises of Raja Amar Singh Ji Palace at Manda,Jammu. There is a vast difference between a private estate and a State declared protected monument like Mubarak Mandi Royal Palaces.
On this account, Rajasthan have many more palaces than J&K which have been declared as protected monuments, being preserved and maintained by ASI and are frequently visited by not only the Indians but the foreigners too. Do not we know that even in J&K more than seventy such declared protected monuments including Pari Mahal at Srinagar and Raja Suchet Singh ji Palace at Ramnagar (Udhampur) have been preserved and are being well maintained by ASI without any heritage society or the Department of Tourism? And nobody has ever bothered to know where from they are getting money to carry out their responsibility. All this was brought to the notice of the then CM while chairing the first meeting of the GB of this MMHS(2006) and repeatedly suggested by me to hand over the preservation work of these ancient palaces to ASI. It was once again I repeated to the next CM also in the next GB meeting, but every body committed to its commercialisation , paid no heed to my humble suggestions, thus leaving me with no other alternative but to come out of this society and its business. Whatever happened later on, including the bulldozing of Royal Marble platform used for coronation ceremonies or Darbar-e-Aam, fate of Tosha khana valuable arftefacts shifted out side Mubarak Mandi etc. is very much in the knowledge of the Jammuites.
I still believe that even now ( after so many unwanted losses and damages within these long 15 years) if handed over to ASI , these Royal Palaces can be preserved well, thereby can and achieve their pristine glory and status of a world class monument. We should only help them to get extra funds, in addition, to their own budget to utilise the services of more such well reputed agencies to complete this project on war footing.
Narsingh Dev Jamwal