Politics

Taj Mahal Built by ‘Traitors’ Who ‘Wanted to Wipe out Hindus,’ Says BJP MLA Sangeet Som

The BJP MLA’s remarks came after the monument was excluded from a Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet earlier this month.

The BJP MLA said that the monument was a "blot on Indian culture." Credit: PTI

The BJP MLA said that the monument was a “blot on Indian culture.” Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Adding fuel to the raging controversy surrounding the Taj Mahal, BJP MLA Sangeet Som said on Sunday, October 15, that the monument was built by “traitors” who “wanted to wipe out Hindus from Hindustan” and is a “blot on Indian culture.”

According to Hindustan Times, the comments by Som, a MLA from Sardhana in western Uttar Pradesh, who was addressing a gathering in Meerut, came after the monument was excluded from a Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet earlier this month and did not receive funding in the state budget.

The booklet was released to mark six months of the Adityanath government.

“Many people were disappointed when Taj Mahal was removed from Indian history. What history are you talking about? The creator of the Taj Mahal imprisoned his own father. He wanted to wipe out Hindus from Hindustan,” Som said.

Adding that it was “unfortunate” that the country’s history has “such people,” the MLA said that the Adityanath-led UP government was attempting to bring history back on the right track.

“UP government is trying to bring back the history of Lord Ram, Shivaji,” he said.

He also said that now the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Krishna Mandir in Mathura cannot be stopped by anyone.

While a senior BJP leader Nalin Kohli dismissed Som’s comments saying that “Taj Mahal is an important part of our history,” there is a plethora of support for the MLA’s controversial views within the party – including from state CM Adityanath, who in June said that the marble mausoleum didn’t represent “Indian culture”.

“Foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of the Taj Mahal and other minarets which do not reflect Indian culture,” the UP chief minister had said at a public meeting in Bihar. The Narendra Modi-led central government, according to Adityanath, thus began giving copies of the Bhagvad Gita and the Ramayan instead, HuffPost reported.

According to a Scroll.in report, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, the state minister in charge of religious affairs and culture had said, “The Taj Mahal was not a symbol of any religion and is nobody’s,” and had thus been “rightly kept out [of the tourism booklet].”

Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was among the several who took to Twitter to slam Som’s remarks.

While the state tourism minister Reeta Bahuguna Joshi, in an attempt to do damage control, said that the monument was “part of our cultural heritage” and a “major tourist spot,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao defended of Som and said that Taj Mahal “is a symbol of barbarism.”:

“There have been attempts to distort Indian history. It is a symbol of barbarism and it is a monument. I will say what I have to say. As far as Som is concerned, he has the freedom of speech. That is his personal view and there need not be a party line on every statement.”

(With PTI inputs)

  • Ashok Akbar Gonsalves

    “The creator of the Taj Mahal imprisoned his own father. ”

    Huh?
    Mr Som, thanks for making me laugh on a dull Monday!

    • Amitabha Basu

      Forgive this ignoramus whose ignorance of history is matched only by his ‘Pradhan Sewak’.

      • Ashok Akbar Gonsalves

        Forgiven, because this ignoramus’ big-foot-in-his-bigger-mouth has been quite hilariously entertaining.

  • Amitabha Basu

    The criminal Sangeet Som of Muzaffarnagar communal infamy spews communal hatred yet again. The moot point is : Why then does his ‘Pradhan Sewak’ take such pride in addressing the nation from the Red Fort, built by the same ‘traitor’ ?

    • Ashok Akbar Gonsalves

      Right. If this is what the BJP feels about Muslim monuments (and presumably non-Hindu ones in general), then not only should Modi stop giving his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort (shift it to Nagpur instead) – the government should also ask the UNESCO to get the following off its World Heritage Sites list:

      * Agra Fort;
      * Fatehpur Sikri;
      * Taj Mahal;
      * Old Ahmedabad City;
      * Red Fort;
      * Qutb Minar;
      * Humayun’s Tomb;
      * Churches and Convents of Goa.

      Moreover, the Taj was designated as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 2007, a process in which millions of Indians voted for it. The government must get it removed from that list as well.

  • https://babupaedia.blogspot.in Sudhansu Mohanty

    Yet another instance of “barbarity” and desecration of Indian culture! When will these lumpens learn? I doubt they ever will, blessed as they are with a Mahant to helm them! But Humpty Dumpty shall have a big fall! The fall has begun, and it will surely snowball quickly. It’s only a matter of time…