Vrindavan, 2017.06.08 (VT with reference to Hindustan Samwad): A piece of Vrindavan’s history was destroyed this week, right under the noses of the police at Addha Police Chowki on Mathura Road.
A stone inscription dated March 1866 details an order made by Mathura’s then-commanding officer, Colonel M.H. Seymour. It is one of only two stone inscriptions from that period in Vrindavan.
The order, written in English, Hindi and Urdu, bans hunting in Vrindavan, Mathura, Gokul and surrounding areas on both sides of the Yamuna’s bank. It also warns that violators of this rule would be severely punished.
The inscription bans the use of guns, bows and arrows in Vrindavan, and officially recognizes Braj as the sacred land of the Hindus.
The way the 150-year-old stone inscription was neglected, carelessly destroyed, and thrown in a garbage pile is an unfortunate symptom of apathy towards preserving Vrindavan’s cultural treasures. The unique inscription on this piece of stone proved that Shri Vrindavan Dham commanded the respect of even the British Raj, who took concrete steps to protect the spiritual sentiments of the Brajwasis.
The five-inch-thick stone tablet was embedded in a three-foot-wide wall of kakaiya bricks (small, very old bricks) beside the police station. The police use the area where the inscription was located to store confiscated vehicles. Several citizens of Vrindavan had previously expressed concern that the stone could be hit by one of the vehicles. This may be what actually occurred, although the cause of the damage remains unconfirmed.
After the stone was broken, it simply sat there in pieces for several days before being thrown in the garbage pile. The police department did not take any notice of it whatsoever. They neither tried to salvage the pieces, nor did they notify the Mathura museum or the Archaeology Department.
Addha Police Chowki in-charge Mr. Indrajeet Singh said, “I have no idea about any British stone inscription. I never even saw it.”
The Assistant Director of the State Museum in Mathura, Mr. SP Singh said, “A stone inscription from the British period has no significance. If the stone had been 250 or 300 years old, then it would have been worth something. Still, we will look into the matter on Tuesday.”
These are the statements of officials who should be the first to protect Vrindavan’s treasures. Every day the disease of ignorance and apathy strips away pieces of our precious heritage. The Yamuna River is being stolen by the states and towns upstream, while concrete roads have hidden away the sparkling diamond-dust of Braj Raj.
The loss of this stone inscription is a wakeup call for all of us to start taking responsibility for protecting our beloved Vrindavan Dham.