Teen Talwar aur Teen Khanjar

Posted on June 9, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Photo of the Day
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Owais Mughal

A mini replica of Karachi’s famous ‘teen (3) talwar‘ monument has emerged in Mirpur Khas. In the photo below Karachi’s three-sword landmark is to the left and Mirpur Khas replica to the right.

What do our readers have to say about architectural copies of landmarks or architectural plagiarization?

I understand Mirpur Khas is a much smaller city than Karachi and has much limited resources. But inspite of lack of funds to build a landmark of grand scale, some ingenuity of design must be practised.

This particular landmark design is just an example. Through this post, I want to raise a general question on whether copying a landmark is OK or does it leave a bad taste showing prevalent mediocrity in the society.

To me personally it leaves a bad taste. This is mediocrity and lack of ingenuity.

Following two photos are another example of copycat architecture in Pakistan. First photo is Shaikh Zyed Center in Punjab University Campus, Lahore and the photo below it is Shaikh Zayed Center at Karachi University. Both buildings are identical. I must admit that to me these buildings are beautiful and symmetric. They are far from being ugly but I do have this wish that if somebody was spending millions of rupees on construction of these huge buildings, they could’ve made their design unique too.

Shaikh Zayed Center, Punjab University, Lahore

Shaikh Zayed Center, Karachi University, Karachi

Before ending, I realize the grammatically correct title of the post should’ve been “teen talwareN aur teen khanjar” Or may be a more poetic one such as ‘talwar teri aankhen, khanjar teri nigaaheN’ but I’ve kept the title as it is to go with the common name of the monument which is ‘teen talwar’.

Photo Credits: Raja Islam and Jehangir Khan

18 Comments on “Teen Talwar aur Teen Khanjar

  1. MASKEENEL says:
    June 9th, 2009 6:31 pm

    Maybe soon we’ll see a change in the trend and maybe Lahore will lead by coming up with a new monument known as teen muchain, because Lahore has always been a city of brave specially mard and proven it also in the past.

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    June 9th, 2009 6:43 pm

    the word ‘teen muchen’ for a monument made me smile :)

  3. ASAD says:
    June 9th, 2009 7:15 pm

    Frankly, I do not like the ideas of talwar or khanjar.

    We have enough violence around us without this reminder.

    And the idea of putting religious verses on a weapon is specially disgusting to me.

  4. Umar Shah says:
    June 9th, 2009 7:23 pm

    FYI, The French who donated the Statue of Liberty have left a smaller copy of it in Paris. I think it’s ok to copy a monument as long as the copy is not disfigured or a caricature of the original.

  5. June 9th, 2009 11:30 pm

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “Why do we have to relate everything with weapons???”
    - “Its our culture :D But to be fair, not every monument is of talwars or khanjars, so it isn’t fair to say ‘everything’.”
    - “Nusrat is right to some extent because considering the deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan, is it really necessary to enforce images of weapons in every nook and corner of the country?”
    - “Would you prefer Statues? which wouldn’t go too well with “the faithful”?”

  6. Owais Mughal says:
    June 9th, 2009 11:55 pm

    photos of 2 identical buildings in Pakistan added to the post. The buildings are Shaikh Zayed Center in Karachi and Lahore. Take a look.

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    June 10th, 2009 12:08 am

    Umar, I agree that if a replica is not meant to devalue or ridicule the original, it should be OK. The argument can be that sometimes it saves money to have similar structures built e.g. barracks, hostels, apartments etc.

    I guess it boils down to personal preference in architecture. For landmarks and monuments atleast, I prefer unique designs.

  8. Farrukh Shahbaz says:
    June 10th, 2009 1:50 am

    It would be interesting to know some background of ’3 talwar’. When it was built, who designed it and why this particular design.

  9. ahsan says:
    June 10th, 2009 2:07 am

    The ” teen (3) talwar” is yet to be circumcised ” khatnay honay haain” while the one in Mirpur khas is a Musalman Monument. I think someone should come up with a list of Musalman Buildings ( jin kay khatnay ho chukay haain)

  10. Sajid Khan says:
    June 10th, 2009 2:43 am

    The roundabout at the intersection of Tariq Road and Shahra-e-Quaideen has a very beautiful monument. This has been replicated time and again. I saw it in one of the army garrisons in inetrior Sind.

    The two swords monument was copied by Nadeem Medical Center at the Nipa chowrangi (when I was in NED, I used to see it daily). It was demolished later ( in mid 90′s may be).

    Luxor hotel in Las Vegas has copied the entire theme of pyramid and sphinx.

    I think its OK. Why to reinvent wheel, just copy. ha ha

  11. ahsan says:
    June 10th, 2009 4:35 am

    THe design of Luxor is inspired by the Pyramid and not a copy. Same is the case with NewYork NewYork.

  12. MQ says:
    June 10th, 2009 12:43 pm

    Farrukh Shahbaz:

    I think Teen Talwar was commissioned during ZAB’s period. Since ZAB’s first name meant talwar (sword) and the PPP’s symbol then was also a talwar, someone ‘wisely’ came up with the two monuments (Teen talwar and dau talwar) on Clifton Road. ZAB’s personal house also happened to be located in Clifton.

    The one in Mirpurkhas is obviously a cheap replica of the Teen Talwar. Looks more like sticks of Kulfi. My guess is, it was built by the former chief minister of Sindh. Remember him, that obnoxious character, who was slapped with a slipper by someone in the Sindh Assembly and then disappeared from the scene? I mean, the chief minister.

  13. Owais Mughal says:
    June 11th, 2009 12:21 am

    MQ saheb, your ‘qulfi stick’ comment is very funny. made me smile :)

  14. Iftikhar-ur-Rehman says:
    June 11th, 2009 2:16 am

    Plagiarism the name of the game in Pakistan. When our top professors, teachers are involved in stealing the research work of others and get the degrees, I believe copying Teen Talwar wont hurt whereas the cheaters teachers they really hurt the future of Pakistan

  15. Owais Mughal says:
    June 11th, 2009 11:24 am

    For a background on ‘teen talwar’ I remember it used to have inscriptions of Unity, Faith and Discipline. One on each sword.

  16. Mohammad Qureshi says:
    June 17th, 2009 2:03 pm

    I think as long as it is a Pakistani landmark brought to other parts of Pakistan, there is nothing wrong with it. If one Pakistani city wants to copy a good idea of another Pakistani city, it should be allowed. Its not like they are building a replica of the Statue of Liberty or anything, this is distinctly our own. And besides, the message on the teen talwar is a good one to pass on to other parts of the country.

    Perhaps Pakistan will even be known for the “teen talwar” as one of its national symbols!

  17. Zahid Latif says:
    October 26th, 2011 12:34 am

    Technically or ethically no problem, but this trend points towards lack of innovation and creativity, all the landmarks MUST BE UNIQUE CREATIVELY INNOVATIVE…because Pakistan is land of FRESH IDEAS

  18. M I Advany says:
    November 7th, 2011 2:33 am

    I am proud of Karachi and Mirpur Khas. Karachi should be happy to see that Mirpur Khas is honoring Karachi. For the same reason Punjab University should be glad to see their sister university in Karachi is honoring them. I am proud of both the universities too.

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