Dagshai: A remarkable piece of love has remained a mute spectator to human hatred that it faced over the years. It is apathy on the part of local administration who has failed to judge the importance of this love monument devoted to his beloved by a British officer who now lay buried in oblivion. A marble imported monument erected by officer over his wife grave has fallen prey to superstition of people merely for their selfish purpose.
The fine piece of marble architecture set up on the grave has now gone beyond its recognization. Those were days when the monument was used to get daily wash during British regime besides proper maintenance of cemetery housing this rare monument. Now everything has changed. The love piece has desecrated by people who believes if a woman possesses a piece of marble from the grave, she will be blessed with a baby boy. The marble structure was brought to Dagshai from England by officer after the death of his wife.
The officer wife, Mary Rebecca Weston was died along with her unborn child at Dagshai in December, 1909. The marble structure of woman lying along with her baby in lap of an elf showering blessings with her two hands was put up on the grave of Mary at a cemetery at Dagshai cantonment outer area adjacent to Anhech village. During British rule, Indians were not allowed to enter this area.
It is now not easy to discern the faces of the figures in monument. The head and wings of the elf have been broken and it is difficult to find the baby in the structure. Broken pieces of marble can be seen lying near the grave. Three years backs the two unidentified youths reached the cemetery in their car displaying press on it.
They had badly damaged the memorial and took away Mary’s head. Old timers of area say the desecration of the grave was started by the personnel of Indian Army regiment station at Dagshai after Independence. The damage began when the wives of jawans started taking away pieces of marble in the hope to be blessed with baby boy. Soon this superstition gained momentum in area and the people from far area reached cemetery to get piece of marble from statue. As per record available the cemetery was renovated by 2 Battalion of the Bihar Regiment in 1968.
Later no such thing had ever happened taken place. Like Mary’s grave, the whole cemetery, with some graves dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, now is in bad shape. On entering through the gate of cemetery one can find broken pieces of old graves piled inside in one room opposite the chowkidhar room.
The local Christians have no funds to maintain the cemetery. Even British High Commission has failed to respond after it was approached few years back to lend its financial support for the maintenance of this historical cemetery, pointed local Christians.