BJP MLA Surendra Singh on Tuesday reiterated his demand for renaming the Taj Mahal in Agra either Ram or Krishna Mahal “to give the monument an Indian identity.” The reiteration came a day after he had made the suggestion at a gathering in Ballia. Singh told The Indian Express he will ensure names of monuments like Taj Mahal and localities such as Lucknow’s Akbari Gate and Mughalsarai tehsil in Chandauli will be renamed within 15 days if he ever is in a position to do so.
“I would write to (chief minister) Yogi Adityanath to take up the issue. I appreciate and thank him for taking the initiative to rename Mughalsarai railway station (after Deendayal Upadhyay),’’ he said.
“He should change the name of Mughalsarai tehsil as well. Names like Taj Mahal may also be replaced with Ram Mahal or Krishna Mahal… they should get Indian identities,” said Singh, an MLA from Bairia in Ballia district.
He said some can even suggest names like that of late ex-President A P J Abdul Kalam. Singh said he has no objection but added the names representing places, buildings and roads should at least be “Indian”.
Singh justified his demand saying he is an RSS worker first and it made him an MLA. He told The Indian Express he thus speaks the language of its ideology. He said the kings who gave these places and monuments these names did not care about the people’s self-respect. “These words (names of roads and monuments) are an insult to the self-respect of those who have contributed to the Indian social, democratic system for years. Do we not have icons enough to name our roads and monuments after them?’’
He questioned the need for naming them after foreigners. “I am a BJP MLA and I have no hesitancy in saying that even my party did not do much in this direction… But I hope that they take up the issue now,” Singh said.