The Taj Mahal Controversy: What Lies Beneath?

 

We all have revered the scintillating beauty of the Taj Mahal for many years making the Indians proud, as a citadel of love and standing tall as one of the seven wonders of the world which only gets precious as the years go by. But the recent controversy revolving around this architectural marvel has caught a lot of attention on the status at the national as well as international platform.

The row over Taj Mahal began when a tourism pamphlet released by the UP tourism named Uttar Pradesh Paryatan Apaar Sambhavnaayein had no mention of Taj Mahal in it, in spite of its unanimous status as one of the seven wonders of the world.

This incident came to notice especially because it took place few months after Yogi Adityanath’s comments on Taj Mahal that it “did not reflect Indian culture.”

The cover of the tourism booklet in the most unprecedented manner displayed the picture of Ganga Aarti with Yogi Aditynath and state tourism minister Rita Bahuguna lighting the lamp. The controversy took an ugly turn when another BJP MLA  Sangeet Som on Monday tagged the Taj Mahal as a “blot on Indian culture and its creator wanted to wipe out.” Another BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg also added fuel to the fire as he maintained that the monument was built after destroying a Shiva temple from the Rajputs.

The absence of such a prominent tourist attraction like Taj Mahal from the tourism brochure triggered adverse reactions from various leaders.

CPM member Brinda Karat said, “I believe that for people all over the world, one of the major spots for tourists is the Taj Mahal. It also supports the economy of UP. This is truly made in India. Therefore, people will only laugh at him and his complete ignorance of history and importance of preserving the beauty of Taj Mahal.”

Another swathing attack came from JNU student’s union President Kanhaiya Kumar who said that the Taj Mahal controversy was nothing else but BJP’s ploy to divert the attention from the key issues which need to be addressed. At  a press conference in Chandigarh, Kumar took a swipe at the BJP government’s tactics saying that, “the controversy over Taj Mahal was created by the BJP leadership to divert the attention of the people from Jay Shah’s manifold increase in wealth.”

However, the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath defended his backlash on the Taj Mahal issue and announced the allotment worth 357 crores on plans for the development of the historical monument.

The Director-General Department of Tourism for UP Avinash Awasthi also spoke with reference to the Taj Mahal stating the booklet listed just a handful of projects and was not a reflection of the entire scheme of tourism projects under the UP government.

But laying off all the statements and controversies aimed at the 17th-century Mughal mausoleum, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a cleanliness drive around the Taj Mahal accompanied by security personnel and an enthusiastic crowd, as he walked down the famed monument sweeping the road. His visit to the grand monument was a stark contrast to his remarks last year when he said that the foreign dignitaries visiting India should be gifted holy book Gita and not replicas of Taj Mahal.

Yogi Aditynath will be the first BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to visit the Taj Mahal in a bid to promote the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. He also dismissed his earlier claims declaring the Taj Mahal is “a world-class monument” and the “pride of India.” Yogi Adityanath called off this controversy surrounding Taj Mahal calling it “unwarranted” and saying that it was built by the laborers of India. He even condemned the recent tourist attacks on a Swiss couple and ensured full security for the visitors of this architectural spot.

 

 

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