A change of time

Big Ben (L) and the Mecca Clock Tower (R) are now in competition to be recognised as the centre of time

The Mecca Clock Royal Tower hotel overlooks the Grand Mosque in the holy Muslim Saudi city of Mecca 

The Saudis have unveiled a plan to define Mecca as the center of the world by building a giant clock tower in Mecca. The Bin Laden group’s Royal Mecca Clock Tower  aims to replace GMT time, with “Mecca Time”.

For the past 125 years, the international community has accepted that the start of each day should be measured from the prime meridian, representing 0 degrees longitude, which passes through the Greenwich Observatory.

But now the supremacy of Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT) is being challenged by a gargantuan new clock being built in Mecca, by which the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims could soon be setting their watches. Islamic scholars hope the clock’s influence will stretch far further than the sands of Saudi Arabia, as part of a plan for Mecca to eclipse the Greenwich Observatory as the “true centre of the earth”.

Bearing a striking resemblance to both St Stephen’s Tower, which houses the bell of Big Ben, and the Empire State Building, the Saudi upstart aims to outdo its revered British rival in every way. The clock’s four faces are 151ft in diameter and will be illuminated by 2million LED lights along with huge Arabic script reading: “In the name of Allah”. The clock will run on Arabia Standard Time which is three hours ahead of GMT. When a glittering spire is added, topped with a crescent to symbolize Islam, the edifice will stand at nearly 2,000 ft, making it the world's second tallest building. The clock of Big Ben, by comparison, is just 23ft in diameter, while its tower stands at a mere 316ft.

The clock started ticking from the first day of Ramadan.

Arab countries have been building in frenzy the biggest objects in the world.  Biggest sandwich, largest cake, largest manmade island, tallest building and so on. Everything has to be big or tall. Where Western skyscrapers were the natural product of expanding economic and technological frontiers, Arab skyscrapers are desperate attempts to buy superiority. Does building a tall tower glorify a country? Will they stand the sands of time?

It is tragic that everything is linked to religion these days. More than political power, the fight is going on for religious supremacy. If every religion is going to build clocks all over the world, and make times of their own, what would be the outcome? Probably India would end up building the largest number of towers, because we harbor every religion in the world.

It is becoming a crazy world.

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  1. I am in agreement that it is about religious supremacy and not economic power.
    Such are the acts and decisions which will eventually result into problems.

  2. I think Big Ben still has its old world charm.

  3. Thank you for the informative post Doc!

    All I can think of is: "The times are in His hands"

    ~ NRIGirl

  4. To borrow the movie title, can't say ' The Gods Must Be Crazy' - it's humans who are crazy :( In the meantime, let us stay sane!

  5. Oh, I think I will have lots of fun watching all the people looking at their watches! "Bhayya, whats the time?" "Hari Om, its ten past ten". "Sir, whats the time?" "Eight o'clock sharp, Praise the Lord!". "Salam aleykkum,whats the time?" "Twelve thirty midnight, Inshalla!", Hoo boy! I will go crazy laughing!!

    You have given me infinite possibilities to fantasize, doc, thank you! I feel like Naranathu Bhrandhan! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

  6. Yes, it is all about one trying to outdo the other. In the rat race, all are becoming rats and nothing else.

  7. its very informative..at the same time ...its jus the malice that come out in this FOrm...
    India no doubt ,,if to prove ,will have even bigger and smarter ways..But I think we don't that!!need to resolve more issues at home!!

  8. I also like Big Ben the best. I have never heard of these towering clocks. Thank you for coming by. Another thing I have read that biggest is not always best. This was very interesting.

  9. @ Yes.Some thing to do with the thought process!
    @ BK C Some times I think what Marx said about religion is becoming true.
    @ Haddock. it is not the charm,what if the whole timing is changed?
    @NRI true,but he gave us intelligence to use ti properly also.
    @ Keats.Yes i remembered the movie as well...Long time back

  10. @ Balachandran. yes,this is too much. the era ia going to be changed as well. Instead of BC and AD,it is being planned to change to Before M and after M
    @ Rachna. Thanks for the visit.Race of all kinds!
    @ Harman. Yes. the joke is it will take it 100 years to build and then all political parties will make clocks of their own
    @ Margaret Cloud. This is all part of a new world order on the way.

  11. They are builidng big things, why not build big hearts, generous and kind people?

  12. The tower of Babel. What did happen to that mythical edifice?

    I have nothing against Islam or any other religion, though I prefer to stay at arms length at the least from God and religion. The fact that I cannot stand is shoving ones tooth brush into another's throat. That is exactly the Islamic maniacs are trying to do.

    In a lighter vein it will be chaotic fun to have each religion basing time upon their Gods , Even the Gods will go crazy, confused. What fun!!!

  13. Yes indeed pity religion is behind all the development ...
    I wish we can leave religion in peace for all sanity

    Big Ben has been there for ages ...

    Religion teaches brotherhood not hatred why dont we build a big heart so we can take in our arms all the religions and live happily everafter :)

    <a href="http://www.mann-bikram.blogspot.com/>Bikram's Blog</a>

  14. @ Kurup
    Babylonians were occupied with the construction of the tower for over a century.Man's futile attempt to reach heavens by building a tall tower.The Tower of Babel is extremely significant to the epic of the Bible. The story is much more than God indiscriminately interrupting an insignificant building project.These cities were completely disintegrated by a fiery earthquake metaphorically referred to as a "furnace". The Tower of Babel marks the origins of the nations of the Earth,and God's wrath on human ego.

    The present day towers are comparable to the Tower of Babel.You brought out the same idea I wanted to say.I had planned to name this blog as the "Tower of mecca".

    Welcome. Religions of peace,they say.But what is happening?

  15. Can't religion even leave time alone!
    Changing the time will mean I don't wake up at 6AM?...I guess I just have to throw my watch and the clocks into the nearest river...let time flow!

  16. very informative post Doctor...! nice write up...!
    Thanx for sharing...!

    First time here...awesome space you have...!
    wish to come back leisure to drool more...

    Tasty Appetite

  17. hard core truth..this is what happens everywhere..everything revolves around what you are..smallest of the thing depends on your religion and social status..it will continue till we change our attitude towards things!

  18. @Samvedna: there is no scarcity of peace and generosity in speech either.
    @ Nalini: welcome.I liked it."let time flow"
    @ Jay..can you make a recipe for peace?
    @Neha. Nice to see you here.It is worse than you imagine in some parts of the world.


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