New Delhi: Not happy with the "exceedingly dirty condition" of Sher Shah Suri`s tomb in Bihar`s Sasaram, Union minister Jairam Ramesh has shot off a letter to Culture Minister Kumari Selja seeking her intervention to protect it.
The tomb of Sher Shah, one of the striking personalities in the history of medieval India, is an imposing brick structure situated in the middle of a pond. In 1998, it was included in the UNESCO`s tentative list for inscription in the World Heritage List.
In his letter to Selja, Ramesh, who visited the tomb last month while touring Naxal-affected district of Rohtas, accused the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of not taking care of the mausoleums of Sher Shah and his father.
“It was pretty depressing visiting the very famous mausoleum of Sher Shah Suri and that of his father as well, both of which are under the control of the ASI. The maintenance is atrocious," the rural development minister said in the letter.
He said the water in the pond and in the `baoli` is "exceedingly dirty”.
"Garbage is strewn everywhere. Walls have been defaced at a couple of places. There are no lights at all that would enable people to come in the late evenings. Documentation is pathetic," Ramesh said.
Sher Shah, who laid the foundation of an independent dynasty of Sur Afghans, himself constructed the tomb which is regarded as one of the noblest specimens of Afghan architecture in India.
Noting that the mausoleum (along with other sites in the vicinity) is a great historical and cultural legacy, Ramesh said, "The ASI could be asked to take better care of it. The district administration is ready to help (even with funds) but the ASI has not moved a bit."
He had paid floral tribute at the tomb of Sher Shah whose contribution includes the construction of the `Grant Trunk Road` running from Calcutta to Peshawar and introduction of the currency called `rupiyah` -- the first version of the Indian Rupee.
Sher Shah, who ascended the throne of Delhi in 1540 AD after driving away Mughal emperor Humayun, ruled the nation for a very short spell of five years before meeting an accidental death in the fort of Kalinjar in 1545.