Days after the Uttar Pradesh government dropped Taj Mahal from the state tourism department’s booklet, BJP MLA Sangeet Som justified the move, saying ‘the builder of the monument had worked to eliminate Hindus from Uttar Pradesh and India.’
In a video released by news agency ANI, Som said, “Many people were sad when the Taj Mahal was removed from the tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The history that the builder of the Taj had imprisoned his father? The history that the builder of the Taj had worked to eliminate Hindus from Uttar Pradesh and India? If such people are still mentioned in history then it is unfortunate.”
During a visit to Meerut, Som described Mughal emperors Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb as “traitors” and said their names would be removed from pages of history.
Som, the MLA who was accused of posting a video on Facebook which triggered communal violence in Muzaffarnagar that claimed 62 lives, has landed into controversies for making inflammatory speeches in the past. The Special Investigation Team probing the riots case, however, had given him a clean chit in the case.
The Taj Mahal, a UNESCO world heritage site, was not added to the tourism booklet released recently by the government leading to a controversy. The opposition Congress had accused the Yogi government of playing with history. The booklet released by the state Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi features other heritage sites including Adityanath’s Gorakhdham temple and temples of Mathura and Ayodhya as well.
In the ANI video, Som said the current government at the state and Centre are changing the ‘blots of history.’ “The government of India and the government of Uttar Pradesh are working to bring back that history on the correct path, that history is being brought back to books.” He said that history is changing. “In the last many years, the work that had gone on to misrepresent history, is now being corrected,” the BJP leader said.
“From Lord Ram to Krishnji to Maharana Pratap to Shivaji’s history, (all) are being brought back to history books. That blot, be it Akbar, Aurangzeb or Babur, their history is being expunged by the government.”
Reacting to Som’s remarks, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi asked whether the prime minister would stop hoisting the Tri-Colour at Red Fort as it was built by “traitors”. “‘Traitors’ also build Red Fort will MODI stop hoisting Tiranga ?Can MODI & YOGI tell domestic & foreign tourist not to visit TAJ MAHAL?,” he tweeted.
“Even Hyderabad House in delhi was built by ‘Traitor’ will MODI stop hosting Foreign Dignitaries??,” he added.