New Delhi: Days after Mirza Ghalib's haveli made headlines for being used as a venue to host marriage parties, admirers of the poet organized a candlelight vigil to commemorate his 212th birthday.
The venue was again his haveli and the occasion was marked by the presence of lyricist Gulzar, director Vishal Bharadwaj and his wife and singer Rekha Bharadwaj.
The candlelight walk is organized every year by the Ghalib Memorial Movement spearheaded by Kathak dancer Uma Sharma.
Talking about the misuse of Ghalib's haveli as a marriage venue, Gulzar said: "We should not blame the government for everything. We need to create awareness among people to conserve and protect monuments and this candlelight walk is a step forward in that direction. To keep the great poet's memory alive, a people's movement should be started to convert the haveli into a museum. We do not need money from people, but only their support. It is important to conserve our monuments in order to preserve our tradition and history."
As reported by TOI on December 22, a marriage function was held inside the haveli. Thereafter, the caretaker of the haveli was suspended and an FIR was lodged by the state department of archaeology.
Vishal Bharadwaj called the walk from Ghanta Ghar to Ghalib's haveli a nostalgic experience. Said Bharadwaj: "Through this walk we have retraced Ghalib's journey." His wife recited Ghalib's ghazals thereafter.
Sharma said she had decided to start the movement to save Ghalib's haveli and his memory after she visited the place during the shoot of a show and found it in a bad state. Said Sharma: "I have been dancing to Ghalib's ghazals for years now. I visited the haveli during the filming of a show and found it in a bad shape. We started the Ghalib Memorial Movement to keep his memory alive and got the government to preserve the haveli. I heard about a marriage party taking place in the haveli a few days back. The entire episode is very sad and shows that no one is looking after the monument. We have now decided to hold cultural events on his death anniversary also."