Urgent Conservation Actions Needed for Mohenjodaro
By Dr A. Khan
The archaeological ruins of Mohenjodaro represent a unique masterpiece of human creative genius. Located about 400 km from Karachi, Mohenjodaro has been declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The city flourished for about 800 years during the third and second millennia BC, in the center of the Indus Valley Civilization . It is a living evidence of the earliest manifestation of urbanization in the Indo-Pak subcontinent. It is a vivid example of early town planning.
Mohenjodaro, since its excavation in 1922, has been threatened by saline action by the rise in the water table of the Indus River. About two years ago the control of the site was taken over by the Sindh government from the federal government. Since then no work of conversation has been in progress at the site, rather a deterioration of the site has been accelerated by holding the Sindh Cultural Festival 2014 at the ruins. Constructing a stage on top of the ruins of Mohenjodaro is a belligerent and criminal act. Many archaeologists believe that this process has caused an irreversible damage to an already weakened foundation of this neglected site. Government of Pakistan needs to take swift actions to stop the continuing damage and deterioration of Mohenjodaro ruins by taking effective measures:
- All political activities should be banned at the site.
- An inquiry should be initiated to gauge the damage caused by the Sindh festival activities.
- Control of site should be taken from provincial government for taking effective measures for conservation at national level.
- An international conference in collaboration with UNESCO should be conducted to chart out a plan to implement an ongoing conservation plan for Mohenjodaro.
Swift actions are needed to prevent the decline and decay of Mohenjodaro, before it’s too late and the city is lost forever. Mohenjodaro – the city of the dead – is a living testament to creative genius of an advanced civilization of the past. Mohanjodaro should stay for the future generations to admire the human creative genius. Haleem Sharar has eloquently captured the spirit of Mohanjodaro in his poem “ Mohenjodaro! Our Mohenjodaro !!
Let dead be thy owners
Mohenjodaro thou art ours
Ours - the human race's-
How anguished are thy children
O' thee - A great city of the past
The bricks are crumbling
The walls are covering
With growing deposit of minerals
Crown of ancient civilization
Thou was inhabited and shows none
Of thy dead
Pyramids brave the climate - but
Show what? - Majestic graves!
Preservation of Mohenjodaro is
A duty supreme
Not only entrusted to people of Indus
But the whole mankind.
Where else such a huge and
So ancient a human endeavor
To LIVE & SUBSIST in a socialized way
As old as thee
O' our Mohenjodaro
Can be witnessed by MAN?
Wait - our dear City of the Dead
Wait and don't you die too
As did your inhabitants
The givers of
And not only Subcontinent
But countries situated far away.