Paradise regained08 Jul 2007
So the Taj Mahal made it to the new seven wonders of the world. A distinguished jury deliberated over a period of several years to narrow down the list from hundreds, I believe, sites and monuments, to seven. To make the selection completely fair, a panel of judges from the alien planet of Yamakazoo were invited. They personally inspected the sites and measured objectively the worth of each object on display to arrive at a consensus. The final list was very warmly received, especially by the second most populous nation on this planet, as the monument which we've known to stand as the symbol of Love was one of them. Not having this monument on the "wonders" list would've meant a loss for the tourism industry in India and a huge loss for Bollywood, as most of the movies are shot around the Taj.
A group of people, though, didn't like aliens to judge what they feel are their monuments, with human sentiments attached to them, which the aliens are unable to understand. They took to the streets and demanded a human jury, perhaps spanning the entire planet, making it look like the largest democratic vote the universe has ever seen. They demanded voting be done via SMS, thus also benefiting the mobile phone industry and the organisers.
Sadly, the UNESCO, the organisation that has had control and has nominated the past wonders is kept out of this protest by the Earthicans. UNESCO still maintains it doesn't know about this new wonders of the world campaign, and has declared it unofficial. I would think it believes a private businessman who wants to start a planet-wide poll to elect the new wonders is as non-technical and as disparaging as it can get. Obviously, the nation with the most money and people would easily get their own monument elected, while the other countries would have to just rely on the monument's qualities to make them proud.
I, though, have some ideas here. If a universe-wide poll makes sense, we could make our poor cricketers' lives easier: instead of actually playing a match, we should have polls which would decide which team wins. Our idols would have real jobs then, and ads would be so much better. Why just restrict it to our cricket? In the current trend, we do vote and vote a lot for reality shows than our politicians (also remember, voting for reality shows costs money, whereas voting for politicians is free. Yeah, we don't do cheap stuff). One day, if this becomes successful, we should return the favour to the Yamakazooans and help them elect their head-of-planet. If it has one, that is.