Lucknow: BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, on Wednesday, added another dimension to the controversy over Taj Mahal by claiming that the monument of love was built after demolishing a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called ‘Tejomahal’.
Talking to a news channel, Mr Katiyar alleged that Mughal emperor Shahjahan had demolished the temple to build the Taj Mahal.
“Mughalon ne hamare devsthano ko todne ka kaam kiya. Taj Mahal Hindu mandir hai, wahan devi-devtaon ke saare chinh hain (Mughals demolished religious places. Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple, icons of god and goddesses exist there),” the BJP MP stated. However, he made it clear that he was not pressing for the demolition of the Taj Mahal on this ground.
It may be recalled that the controversy over the Taj Mahal began on Sunday when BJP MLA Sangeet Som termed the Taj Mahal as a ‘blot on Indian culture’.
Meanwhile, the CPM accused the “BJP rulers” of Uttar Pradesh of having “medieval communal mindset”, saying the “denigration” of the Taj Mahal was part of the project to rewrite history and reflected a “perverted and bigoted vision”.
Referring to the recent statements by some BJP state leaders on the issue, Prakash Karat said, “This is part of the wider project to rewrite history and to portray anything which goes against the grain of a ‘glorious Hindu history’ as evil, that deserves to be blacked out.”
“The denigration of the Taj Mahal is a striking example of this perverted and bigoted vision of the world,” he said.
In an editorial in the forthcoming issue of party organ People’s Democracy, Mr Karat accused Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath of starting the “vilification” of the Taj Mahal “himself” a few months ago.
“In June this year, he (Adityanath) called the Taj Mahal and similar Mughal monuments as not reflecting Indian culture. This was followed by the Uttar Pradesh tourism department omitting the Taj Mahal from the places of tourist interest of the state in a booklet that it brought out,” he said.
“The Taj continues to attract millions of people from around the world and from within India. They recognise its true worth -- as a monument of exquisite beauty and love,” he said....