Heritage lovers change social media profile picture to ‘Sultan Palace’ in solidarity

Delhi: From Ara to Allahabad, several heritage enthusiasts have put Sultan Palace in Patna as the display picture of their social media accounts in support of the preservation of the 100-year-old historic landmark.

The Patna High Court had in September stayed the proposed demolition of the palace to build a five-star hotel.

In a spontaneous call for solidarity on World Heritage Week, people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updated their profile and cover photos, while some even changed their display photo on WhatsApp starting Thursday.

By Friday afternoon, several users, including many pages dedicated to heritage preservation, had updated their profile photos using image of the iconic palace that was built by the legendary barrister Sir Sultan Ahmed in 1922.

Social media-based groups like ‘Heritage Times’ updated its profile image on Facebook while ‘Lost Muslim Heritage’ of Bihar changed it on Instagram.

Most of them used common hashtags #SultanPalace #WorldHeritageWeek to highlight the significance of the occasion.

“World Heritage Week is being held across the world from November 19-25. While many cities in India and abroad are celebrating the occasion, heritage buildings in Patna are facing threat of demolition and many have already been razed in the name of development,” the Lost Muslim Heritage of Bihar page wrote on Instagram.

“To raise awareness, we are appealing to change the profile picture on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to the image of Sultan Palace to show and express solidarity, and to save it from the bulldozers. #SultanPalace #WorldHeritageWeek,” it said.

A user, Satyam Kumar from Ara in Bihar, changed the profile and cover photos on his Facebook account while heritage enthusiast and INTACH Allahabad member Vaibhav Maini also supported the call, and changed his profile pictures on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“As the World Heritage Week ends, we hope that better sense prevails in the society.The stakeholders of the magnificent Sultan Palace realize its value, dump the demolition plan and come up with a restoration/re-use project. #SultanPalace #WorldHeritageWeek,” he wrote on Facebook.

Muhib Ullah Khan, a Jaunpur-based heritage activist, and many social media users in Patna and other cities in Bihar have also updated their profile pictures on social media.

Abu Dhabi-based Dr Zareen Fatima, who hails from Bihar, has also joined the call for solidarity on the occasion.

On September 27, coinciding with World Tourism Day, a large number of netizens had rallied on Twitter in support of preservation of the iconic landmark as a tourist attraction.

From Patna to Kolkata, citizens had posted images of the palace and shared their tweets, all with a common hashtag — #LongLiveSultanPalace — enthused by a stay granted on the proposed demolition of the palace by the Patna High Court recently.

Many architects, scholars, noted historian S Irfan Habib among others had also supported the call on September 27.

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