Days after BJP MLA Sangeet Som said Taj Mahal was built by “traitors”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the Mughal monument was “built by blood and sweat of Indian labourers”.
“It does not matter who built it and for what reason; it was built by blood and sweat of Indian labourers,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Underlining that the Taj Mahal is an important monument, especially from a tourism perspective, Yogi Adityanath said it was his government’s priority to “provide facilities and safety to tourists”.
Yogi Adityanath is expected to visit Agra on October 25. He is likely to visit Taj Mahal and other monuments in the city.
Amid the controversy over the Uttar Pradesh government omitting Taj Mahal from a tourism department booklet, Sangeet Som on Sunday questioned the historical significance of the monument saying it was built by a man who imprisoned his father and targeted Hindus. He said his government at State and Centre is working to erase the “blot” of Akbar, Aurangzeb and Babur from history books.
“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,” he said while addressing a gathering in Meerut.
Som had distorted facts saying Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, imprisoned his father. In fact, Shah Jahan was the one who was imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb.
Meanwhile, the BJP said it doesn’t share Som’s view on the Taj Mahal. BJP national spokesperson G V L Rao, however, said the Islamic rule 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.