Monday, February 16, 2009

A trip to charminar - A new experience and a nice weekend trip with friends

Last Saturday (14 th feb,2009.) we all went to trip around Hyderabad. It was an entirely new experience for all of us. We went to Ramoji film city in Hyderabad and later to the famous Charminar. Ramoji film city is an exciting place and I had been to a place like this for first time, but what caught my attention most was Charminar. This is not only my case but most of my friends are also of the same opinion. It is not that any of us had not visited any historical monuments before, but this time our perspective and outlook was different. Apart from seeing the magnificent building of Charminar, its architecture which is beyond comparison and feeling pride in the air which flowed around that precious stone of Indian heritage I also saw something else which I had never seen before in any of the historical monuments I had the privilage of visiting. When I got down the bus and saw for the first time that historical masterpiece which has become the very synonym to the city of Hyderabad and it wasnt the magnificence or architecture which caught my eye, but the fact that it was a symbol of our traditional knowledge, our culture, our art. What instantly struck my mind was that what will happen if someone tries to copy the design of our Charminar. The design, the magnificence, the architecture was of course not that easy to copy when Charminar was made but it certainly is not a big deal today. How can we protect this masterpiece of ours if some one decides to copy it or make similar model of it in some other country. What will happen to our pride which we feel when we look at out historical monuments, the feeling that we get when we get marvelled by the art and knowlegede of that time when technology was not so advanced and things were not that simple. All these questions boggled my mind for a long time. Are there any international agreements which provide protection to traditional knowledge of this sort? We live in a post TRIPS era and I am well aware of the fact that designs are given an IP status and are protected by law, but what I am not able to understand is that what type of protectionis given to such types intellectual properties. They are too old to qualify for copyrights and in any case such masterpieces are not meant to be replicated and so the issue of copyrights is totally out of question. It was later that evening when it struck me that it is pretty obvious that no one will copy it, as no one can get any benefit out of it, it too popular to be replicate. But that still I think we could have an act in place for such monuments. This can also help our people in realizing the importance of these a little more and people will take extra care and will think before scribbling on them as I saw many scribblings on charminar.

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