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Wisdom from BJP’s riot-accused MLA Sangeet Som: Taj Mahal part of which history? Will erase blot

Sangeet Som, a two-time MLA from Sardhana, was earlier named in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, after he allegedly shared a video on Facebook showing two persons being beaten to death by a mob.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Updated: October 17, 2017 9:11 am
Taj mahal, Sangeet Som, BJP, Taj Mahal controversy, Taj Mahal issue, Sangeet Som on Taj Mahal, bhartiya janata party, Sangeet Som Sardhana, 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, muzaffarnagar Sangeet Som thinks Aurangzeb built the Taj Mahal. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Days after the Uttar Pradesh government omitted Taj Mahal from a tourism department booklet, BJP MLA Sangeet Som on Sunday questioned the monument’s place in history, distorting historical facts to say that it was built by an emperor who imprisoned his father and targeted Hindus. Som also said that his party’s government at the Centre and state were working to erase the “blot” (kalank katha) of Akbar, Aurangzeb and Babur from history books.

Speaking at an event in Sisauli area of Meerut, Som said: “Bahut logon ko bada dard hua ki Agra ka Taj Mahal aitihasik sthalon se nikaal diya gaya… kaisa itihaas… kahan ka itihaas… kaun sa itihaas… kya woh itihaas… ki Taj Mahal ko banane wale ne apne baap ko qaid kiya tha… kya woh itihaas ki Taj Mahal banane wale ne Uttar Pradesh aur Hindustan se sabhi Hinduon ka sarvanash karne ka kaam kiya tha… aise logon ko agar aaj bhi itihaas mein naam hoga to yeh durbhagya ki baat hai… aur main guarantee ke saath aapse kehta hun ki itihaas badla jayega.

(“Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal had been removed from the list of historical places… what history… which history… the person who made Taj Mahal imprisoned his father… he targeted the Hindus of Uttar Pradesh and India… if these people still find place in history, then it is very unfortunate… and I guarantee that history will be changed.”)

In fact, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was the one who was imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb. OPINION: The Yogi, Sangeet Som and the missing Taj Mahal

A video of Som’s speech is doing the rounds of social media.

Pichhle bahut salon mein Hindustan aur Uttar Pradesh mein itihaas bigaadne ka kaam kiya gaya hai… aaj Hindustan aur UP ke sarkar us itihaas ko sahi raaste par le jaane ka kaam kar rahi hai… Bhagwan Ramchandra se le kar, Krishna se le kar, Maharana Pratap ka itihaas, Shivaji Rao ka itihaas, aaj kitabon me laane ka kaam kar rahi hai… aur kalank katha jo kitabon me likhi gai hai… chahe Akbar ho, chahe Aurangzeb ho, ya Babur ho… unke itihaas ko nikalne ka kaam kar rahi hai sarkar,” said Som.

(“In the past few years, there have been attempts to distort history in India and Uttar Pradesh… today, the governments of India and UP are working to bring that history on the correct path… from the history of Ram to Krishna, Maharana Pratap to Shivaji Rao, they are trying to incorporate them in the books… and the blots which are in our books, be it of Akbar, Aurangzeb, Babur… the government is working to remove them from history.”)

Som was not available for comment.

While BJP national spokesperson G V L Rao disagreed with the MLA, he said nobody could gloss over the fact that Islamic rule in the country was a period of extreme exploitation and intolerance. “As a party, we do not have a view on any individual monuments. But, broadly speaking, the period of Islamic rule — around 800 years — was a period of extreme exploitation, insane barbarism and unprecedented intolerance to the other faith. If anyone tries to gloss over these facts, it will be actually distorting history. It is well documented by historians of world stature that Muslim invasion and its rule represented the most oppressive and regressive world over,” he told The Indian Express.

Asked about the impact of such a remark, Rao said: “Taj Mahal’s significance as a heritage monument would not be undermined by any individual’s view against it. But it would be a travesty that we forget and distort our history which is well documented.”

When contacted, state BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said: “It is his personal remark. BJP disagrees with his comment. The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is committed to the development of historical heritage monuments, including the Taj Mahal, and work has already started in this direction.”

A two-time MLA from Sardhana, Som was earlier named in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, after he allegedly shared a video on Facebook showing two persons being beaten to death by a mob. He was also accused of giving a provocative speech at a mahapanchayat a week before riots broke out in the district.

In 2009, Som contested the Lok Sabha elections from Muzaffarnagar as a Samajwadi Party candidate, but lost. He later joined the BJP in December 2011, a few days before the announcement of assembly elections in the state. He got the BJP ticket from Sardhana, which he won. Soon after the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Som was provided Z-category security.

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  1. A
    Oct 24, 2017 at 7:53 am
    Bharat ka durbhagya hai k tum jaise aur yogi jaise log power mein hain. What kind of people you are, you don't know history, you don't know how the people of out side world think about you guys. These kind of wrong information will divide the country and people further. Very soon India will see the uprise against the BJP/RSS to remove from power and country. Wake up before it is too late.
    1. R
      Oct 22, 2017 at 10:53 am
      som,,, his head is full of garbage ! he wants to be in media ,,,by speaking hatred... any tom / / harry can become famous in india ,,,,just utter some hate speech for muslims community ...
      1. R
        Oct 21, 2017 at 9:42 am
        Sangeet Som should be throw out of BJP and politics. That we have such politicians in this day to dictate policies is even more barbaric than the history that's past and gone. He doesn't even know the history right. Shame on him. The only history he may want to forget is his.
        1. muhammad zamir
          Oct 18, 2017 at 3:11 am
          i am a shia muslim , i just want to ask one simple queation , mumtaj was sha's 14 th wife , mumtaj was shajahan,s sister in law , he killed her husband who is his own brother to marry forcefully mumtaj , what the e he built for his 13 wives to prove that it is a symbol of love ? stop this foolishness , by all means it is buit on stolen indian land by indian workers whose hands chopped off afer the work done , so in this case i am with this bjp man , he makes more sense
          1. A
            Arshad Jamal
            Oct 18, 2017 at 6:12 am
            Don't hide behind muslim names to comment. Be a MAN.
            1. Abhisek S Christian
              Oct 29, 2017 at 5:47 pm
              Pretty sure he's a .
          2. J
            Oct 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm
            black power is a ulama wanted for rape of 6yr old in usa
            1. B
              Oct 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm
              ho ho ho - did you holy gaumatha tell you that? pathetic saffron fascist attempt to spread rumours! ROFL ROFL ROFL - typical z grade standupcomedy from that famous school in nagpore - RASHTRIYA SCHOOL OF STANDUP COMEDY! rofl rofl rofl - when is your saffron celibate impotent father mo bhagwat going to produce babies?
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