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New Seven Wonders named amid controversy
The ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ were declared amid controversy surrounding the process. However, for us the matter of pleasure is that our beloved Taj Mahal not only secured a place in top seven but it also topped the list.

AS THE RESULTS were declared in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon Indians started to celebrate the triumph in various ways. New list of Seven Wonders of the World features Taj Mahal (India), Great Wall of China (China), Petra (Jordan), Christ the Redeemer (Brazil), Chichen Itza Pyramid (Mexico) and Colosseum (Italy) and Machu Picchu (Peru). However, the Great Pyramid of Egypt was an honorary candidate and not featured in the voting list.

 

History of seven wonders dates back to ancient period when the historian Herodotus (484 BC – 425 BC) and the noted scholar Callimachus (305 BC – 240 BC), made lists of Seven Wonders of the World. Their list included the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum of Masussollos at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandra. Amongst these wonders only Great Pyramid of Giza is standing even today, while other six were destructed by earthquake, fire or other reasons.

 

Further in the middle age a number of lists for ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ had been created, but those lists were not created by modern-medieval historians, so they are not authentic. In the modern age wonders of the world had been grouped into various categories namely Modern Wonders, Natural Wonders, Underwater Wonders and Tourist Travel Wonders which were sub-divided into man-made travel wonders and natural travel-wonders. Then, the Wonders of the World were designated according to the research and suggestions of scholars and historians. For New Seven Wonders of the World, first time the online voting and SMS system were used and around 10 crore people around the world exercised their vote.

 

Now let’s have a look how the initiative for the new seven wonders began. Promotion for the new seven wonders started way back in 2000. In the year 2001 a Swiss Corporation – New Open World Corporation took an initiative to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World. Finally on January 1, 2006 after taking into consideration several criteria it announced 21 finalists. Eventually on July 7, 2007 seven new wonders of the world were announced in a grand ceremony in Lisbon.

 

However, the selection has been dogged with controversy. I question it too. In fact, thousands of people across the world are asking the same question. Is the selection of Seven Wonders of the World fair and authentic? As not a single International body was involved in the selection procedure, so on a broad spectrum I think it’s unfair. UNESCO which takes care of almost all the heritage sites of the world declared that it has no link with the initiative and the result would be the opinions of those who have access to the Internet and not the entire world. Meanwhile, about 6.6 billion people live around the world out of which only 10 crore voted for new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Hence, if we take UNESCO’s statement and people’s vote under consideration then the list of new Seven Wonders of the World was just a business motive not an authentic selection. Of course, New Open World Corporation has said that it will spend 50 per cent the collected amount in the maintenance of selected wonders, but those which couldn’t make into last seven, the people of those countries will always remain suspicious and unhappy on the selection procedure. But who cares, our Taj is clear winner, let’s celebrate and salute the eternal love of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

 

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