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Mirza Ghalib memorial inaugurated
|The place where Mirza Ghalib, the greatest poet in the history of Urdu poetry, once lived is once again bustling with activities. It was opened to the people on 27 December by the Delhi Lt Governor Vijay Kapoor on the 203rd birth anniversary of the great poet.
A memorial in the name of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib built at his residence in the walled city of Delhi was inaugurated by the Lt Governor on the occasion. The place is situated at Gali Qasimjan near Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. The haveli is now a national memorial. Efforts were on for years to restore the place where the poet once lived. But it was delayed by controversies including encroachments on certain portion of the haveli in which Mirza Ghalib lived in the 19th century. The issue was resolved only after the Delhi High Court directed the city government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi to remove illegal occupation.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Education Minister Narendra Nath, Congress MLA Haroon Yusuf and members of the apex committee including chairman AM Khusru and representatives of the Ghalib Institute were also present on the occasion. The apex committee was set up under the chairmanship of the Lt Governor Kapoor to supervise the conservation, preservation and restoration of the Ghalib haveli. A major portion of the house was renovated with the aim of keeping the place alive as a memorial.
The Lt Governor said the preservation and restoration of the haveli was done in a manner that renewed its lost splendour. The chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit suggested that the vacant portion of the haveli also be suitably developed and made a part of the memorial.
But it is unfortunate to see that the place is not decorated as it was expected. There is not much that throws light on the life and works of the poet and most of whatever is there is written in Hindi. Merely a few of his couplets are written in his memorial.