The RJD and the JD(U) on Friday slammed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his remarks at a Darbhanga gathering that gifting replicas of the Taj Mahal or any other minaret to visiting heads of state was not in consonance with Indian culture. While RJD said the UP CM had “a poor sense of history”, JD (U) said the statement was an “attack on the multi-religious character” of the country.
Speaking of the achievements of the Narendra Modi government, Adityanath said on Thursday that he had observed the changes in the country from close quarters. “…Pehle jab bharat ke rashtradhraksha baahar jaate the, wo koi aisi vastu le jaate the jise kaha jaata tha Bharat ka pratik hai, ya jab Bideshi rashtradyaksha Bharat aata tha to gift ke roop me Agra ka Taj Mahal or aisi koi minaar di jaati thi jo Bharat ki sanskriti se bilkul mel nahi khati. Pehli baar aisa hua hai jab Bharat ke pradhanmantri Narendra Modiji bahar jaate hain ya bahar ke rashtradhyaksha yahan aaten hai to unhe Srimad Bhagavad Gita pustak di jaati hai, unhe Ramayan bhent ki jaati hai. Yaad rakhna agar kisi ko Ramayan bhent ki jaati hai, usse Mithila ki sanskriti judti dikhai deti hai, uske saath Bihar ka itihas judta dikhai deta hai….
(Earlier, when the head of state would go abroad, he would take something as gift that would represent Indian culture. Similarly, when heads of states from other countries would visit India, they would be given a replica of Taj Mahal or any other minaret that was not in consonance with Indian culture. For the first time, we have seen that when India’s PM Narendra Modi goes abroad and a head of state or government comes to India, he is given the Gita or Ramayana. Remember, when someone is gifted Ramayana, it links the history of Mithila and Bihar with that country)”.
Responding to Adityanath’s remarks, JD(U)’s national spokesperson K C Tyagi said, “I would say Taj Mahal is as beautiful as Benares or Amritsar. Adityanath has been attempting communal polarisation with such frivolous and provocative statements, but he will never succeed. We are a multi-religious country.” RJD spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha said: “Adityanath’s remarks at Darbhanga reflect what is fundamentally flawed in their understanding of India. A poor and regressive reading of history can only make you speak of Taj Mahal as alien. I do not even wish to comment on his ability to appreciate the nuances involved in evolution of art and architecture…Adityanath has a poor sense of history”.
The BJP defended Adityanath’s remarks and blamed RJD and JD (U) for “seeing politics in everything”. Former leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, who shared the dais with Yogi, said: “What Adityanath meant is that anything that is 400-500 years old cannot represent Indian culture in the manner Gita or Ramayana can. It was a plain statement. Is talking of Ramayana communal?”
“… When heads of states from other countries would visit India, they would be given a replica of Taj Mahal or any other minaret that was not in consonance with Indian culture. For the first time, we have seen that when India’s PM Narendra Modi goes abroad and a head of state or government comes to India, he is given the Gita or Ramayana…”