Seven Wonders

Most of you must have heard, voted or asked someone to vote for Taj Mahal to be included in the list of new seven wonders. According to this report, you have been successful in your efforts. Congratulations!

Now when the drama is over, it may not be the time to answer the questions that nobody a few cared dared asking answering earlier, but I’ll ask them anyway:

  • What is a “wonder”?
  • Why do we need new seven wonders? If, at all, we need new wonders, why just seven? If you ask me, seven is just as arbitrary a number as two, three, five, eleven, thirteen … All are primes. If they had chosen two, it would have been special, as two is the only even prime.
  • If you look at the means of voting, you’d realize that the opinion of only the “elites” counts (those who can text-message or vote on www). I could have forgotten my grudge of only elites voting if only www was chosen a medium to vote anonymously without registering on the site. The idea of text-messaging and registering on the website wakes the cynical me up: both of them are just the means of raising some quick money. TV channels, newspapers and phone companies raised a lot of money: they had exclusive programming for Taj Mahal and the campaign for which they got advertisements. and they collected money through text-messages on phones.
  • Who chose the list of possible candidates? On what basis?
  • The method they have chosen to collect the votes is not unbiased at all. Assuming that a particular notion of nationalism (which is pretty absurd) governs the bias of the voters, Indians and Chinese are bound to win. Wait… is any Chinese monument in the list? Besides, we Indians have nothing else to do except to flash our newly acquired mobile phones for anything arbitrary, e.g., voting to idolize somebody, advising cricketers on how to play their game, congratulating people –who they know only because they have seen them in movies– on their birthdays and marriages. This guy, Remo Fernandes, right now I seem to agree with what he says here:

    It’s a rip off…. how can anyone enter into the list of Wonders of World by voting on SMS? I suspect it could be a ploy of mobile companies to mint money.”The singer said there cannot be such polling. “None of my friends abroad know about such polling to get the monuments in the list of Seven Wonders. How can India itself vote and decide? If at all there was a polling for the Seven Wonders, it would have been on a global level,” he says.

    The singer says `wonders’ should be judged by experts, historians, architects, artists and other related people.

    “Only because you have access to the mobile does not mean that you can judge,” Remo says.

    Remo feels that such a criteria is unfair. “If that is a criteria big nations like India will win while small ones like Sri Lanka will lose because of its population strength… Countries like US will always lead because most of the people there carry mobile,” he says.

    He said the Indian government should probe into the entire episode and find out whether it’s a ploy by mobile companies to make money by fooling their subscribers.

    Another guy called Alyque Padamsee also has similar views:

    In the old days, only flags needed poles. Today thanks to SMS, everything needs a poll…whether it is who should be the President of India, or should people protest in their underwear. So I am afraid that the Taj, no matter how wonderful and real wonder of the world it is, it also needs a poll if it’s going to come on the top seven wonders of the world. And I think the eighth wonder of the world is having polls for everything.

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