I was reading India after Gandhi, and somewhere near the half way point of the book , I was hit by a train of thoughts. These thoughts would just not go away! Then it was decided that I would collect opinions and pool them , compile the opinions and scribble them somewhere ; make a graffiti of opinions. (anyhow , who cares, right?). With no second thought, I rushed to my grandparents who have something in abundance , something other than experience, the timeless tales that their elders have told them with joy taking over when the stories need to be passed on from generation to generation. Having said that, I wanted to listen to an opinion, not a story , but as predicted, an opinionated story is what I got. My grandparents did not entertain the fact that there was a bombardment of questions from my side, however , on one particular question, there was a discussion ; a discussion! The question being what if India was still under the Mughal rule and there was not a hint of the British? How would things stand for the travelers? Would the insight be : Incredible India, let’s travel? Would people refrain from traveling?
The Taj Mahal is every globetrotter’s dream destination, imagine tens of structures like the Taj; mouth watering to say the least. Of course, the discussion point being that there was no British rule. A superfluous argument was that the sightseers would travel to the spots of interest in horses. ” It is the 21st century and India would not be that far behind in terms of transport even if the Mughal rule persisted” quoted my ever knowledgeable grand father. Hard to point out any debacle in that statement. However the initial thoughts focused on the taxes. Yes, the taxes.
There was a point in the opinion pool, where the concept of jizya was raised. That people would need to pay special tax to visit the temples. This would have in fact had a profound impact on the current day scenario as a lot or strike that , tons and tons of temples which are earmarked to be heritage sites and this tax would have proven to be painful for people who in their own right travel with minimal or no expenditure. A major hindrance.
On the contrary , as mentioned before, the architecture marvels of the Mughals would be decorated all over India; ranging from the north (maybe , just maybe extending from current day Afghanistan) to the south – more options. To say the least , our country would be dotted with monuments,(leave alone as to how it is now) but if the Mughal rule persisted, India would be an abode for a traveler for at every step of the way, there would lie a marvel steeped in history ,calling the sightseer , to seek what he desires ; nevertheless a graffiti of opinions will only remain a graffiti in the end.