Brand India got a special boost this year when our finest symbol, the ethereal Taj Mahal found a place for itself on the New Seven Wonders of the World list that was unveiled on July 7, in Lisbon, a seven-year-long contest that collected 100 million votes.
India went delirious with pride!
The run-up to this announcement had seen a frenzied campaign to make certain the dignified 359-year-old monument got enough ballots. A special organisation called India Unites for the Taj was formed to stockpile votes, by SMS and on the Internet, because initially we were woefully short.
Cell companies (but naturally), consumer goods companies and media outlets hardsold the priceless Taj across the airwaves.
Celebrities joined the bandwagon. Composer A R Rahman penned an anthem devoted to our poem in marble. Actress Aishwarya Rai, who announced that the Taj was far prettier than her, released a hot-air balloon at Agra for the campaign. Actress Dia Mirza confesses to voting for this Indian icon 60 times!
Text: Vaihayasi Daniel | Photograph: Narendra Nanu/AFP/Getty Images.
Also see: Taj Mahal on the Thames
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