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Emperor Akbar's spirit looks for recognition in Agra

Sunday October 16, 2011 07:45:25 PM, IANS

Agra: Heritage lovers Sunday celebrated Mughal emperor Akbar's birthday, recalling his seminal concepts of Din-e-Ilahi and Sulahkul that laid the foundation of modern-day secularism.

"Akbar's experiments in governance, his ideas relating to coexistence and tolerance of each other's faith, recognition of talents as nine jewels and composite culture have to be seen as part of a rich legacy he left behind," historian Ramesh Chand Sharma in his said inaugural speech.

The programme began with Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society president Surendra Sharma and eminent lawyer Achal Sharma cutting the ceremonial birthday cake at Goverdhan Hotel. A large group of merry makers then sang Happy Birthday to Akbar the Great.

Agra's identity comes more from Akbar, who was one of the most popular rulers of his time, than others like Shah Jahan who were no doubt great builders, but their intellectual contribution was negligible, speakers said.

Welcoming the guests, Surendra Sharma lamented that the city of the Mughals had been plundered and pillaged by politicians and 'upstarts' and the city's development had been haphazard and uneven. "The government agencies have unfortunately forgotten Akbar badshah," he said.

Akbar's tomb in Sikandra and the Agra Fort needed urgent conservational efforts. The city must have a Mughal museum and some special arrangements for the tourists to taste Mughalai cuisine, it was suggested at the conference.

The Archeological Society of India (ASI) and the culture department, the residents of the Taj city and Fatehpur Sikri did not think it necessary to hold any function to commemorate Mughal emperor Akbar's birthday, even though Agra as Akbarabad owes its identity to the Mughal emperor.

"Shah Jahan, at the time of his accession to the throne, named Agra as Akbarabad, but after a while it was back again to Agra. It is a great pity that despite such magnificent buildings like Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort, Akbar was not so popular in this area, compared to the romantic tale of Shah Jahan and his Taj Mahal," one of the speakers said.








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