Not impressed by their local government’s decision to hold a festival right on top of a 4500-year-old archeological site, a group of protestors from Pakistan’s province of Sindh have started an online petition on Change.org, asking the Director-General of UNESCO to intervene and stop this cultural sacrilege.
The site in question is Mohenjo-Daro, one of the world's earliest urban settlements. Discovered in the early 20th century, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, but as most things in the volatile South Asian nation, it suffered decades of neglect from the authorities.
But, like that wasn’t enough, Sindh government recently rolled out its insane plan to hold a 15-day festival at the site. With thousands expected to gather and climb the platform built on top of it, the feeble Mohenjo-Daro’s mere existence is under a major threat, although the region’s ruling party – Pakistan People’s Party – doesn’t feel that way.
Earlier today, the PPP’s Oxford-taught chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari paid the place a visit with his personal team of archaeology experts and ruled that the stage built on Mohenjo-Daro will not cause any permanent harm.
It may, it may not, but the logic behind taking such a risk, especially with such a unique asset, and that too in the name of celebrating the Sindhi culture, is baffling for the more prudent-minded people.
Here is how people on Twitter feel about it:
Bilawal Bhutto must stop abuse of Mohenjodaro site by construction a temporary stage over it. Cultural festival must not disrespect heritage— Athar Minallah (@MinallahAthar) January 30, 2014
Update:The Sindh High Court has apparently come to Mohenjo-Daro’s rescue and issued an order to stop the construction of the 80 feet wide and 60 feet long stage for the festival.