Sir: Tariq Ali's letter to Prime Minister Rao (1 May) is in line with his recent emphasis on distortion and exaggeration. Having received round condemnation for his film on Mother Teresa broadcast in November on Channel 4, he has now turned his attention to another symbol of purity - the Taj Mahal.
Tariq Ali's bias is obvious when, unlike the narrator of the film, he desires the relocation of the Taj Mahal to Brunei or Pakistan. Once again he misrepresents the facts brought out in the film that the damage done to the Taj in terms of the chiselling away of precious and semi-precious stones was done before India became independent.
Restoration efforts require patient planning and considerable resources. In the case of the Taj, the government has already made a move by deciding to shift the foundries away from its vicinity. Restoration plans are also well under way.
High Commission of India
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