mid day editorial: Let's preserve our history and culture

May 30, 2018, 05:50 IST | mid-day correspondent

A report in this paper yesterday stated how an MLA has taken on a Kurla non-profit over where this Bhavan should be located

A proposal to set up an Urdu Bhavan in Mumbai has become a battleground between two factions of the Muslim community. A report in this paper yesterday stated how an MLA has taken on a Kurla non-profit over where this Bhavan should be located.

The battle has been simmering for a while, but sparked to life again after founders of a non-profit, Jai Ho Foundation, said that they had called the MLA's bluff. They accused the MLA, Waris Pathan, of fooling people by saying that he has a proposal of an Urdu Bhavan in Byculla and is now awaiting government sanctions and permissions to go ahead with the same. The Jai Ho Foundation claimed that Pathan was hoodwinking people by his claims. The non-profit claimed that the people will benefit with an Urdu Bhavan at Kalina university campus, and an academic environment will be conducive to the propagation, and promotion of the Urdu language.

This newspaper reported charges flying between both sides. One hopes that the Bhavan does not become a punching bag, political and communal issue for the city. Just the run-up and proposal stage seems to be mired in controversy and gives one a feeling that this is going to be a harbinger for trouble as it can also be used to polarise people.

Let us look at proposals for cultural centres through the correct prism. These centres should become learning and educational hubs rather than political or communal sites of contention.

A knowledgeable committee must check feasibility and viability of these proposals and a careful, rational decision must be taken, keeping in mind the language and the city. Verbal altercations, strikes, dharnas, political brownie points must all recede in the background and the true aim of any cultural centre, a repository for culture and history, must prevail.

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