Attack on Taj aimed at re-writing history: CPI-M

Accusing the BJP rulers of Uttar Pradesh of having "a medieval communal mindset", the CPI-M has said that the vilification of the Taj Mahal by BJP leaders was part of a project aimed at re-writing history.

"Nothing exemplifies this attitude more than their attempt to denigrate the Taj Mahal which is considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world," CPI-M journal People's Democracy said in an editorial.

The CPI-M said now that the BJP and the RSS were in power, a direct attack was being launched against history pertaining to the Mughal period and the historical monuments associated with it. 

"This is part of the wider project to rewrite history and to portray anything which goes against the grain of a 'glorious Hindu history' as evil, that deserves to be blacked out," the editorial said. 

"The denigration of the Taj Mahal is a striking example of this perverted and bigoted vision of the world. Such a blinkered approach will only damage the image of Uttar Pradesh and subject the BJP to ridicule among the people. 

"Unfortunately for the Hindutva zealots, their rants against the Taj Mahal have no takers. The Taj Mahal continues to attract millions of people from around the world and from within India. They recognise its true worth - as a monument of exquisite beauty and love."

Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Sangeet Som sparked outrage when he called the 17th century Taj in Agra a "blot" on Indian culture. He also mixed up Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the monument in memory of his wife Mumtaz, with his son Aurangazeb.

In a damage control exercise on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort were all part of the country's heritage and that the Taj had been built by the sweat and blood of Indian labourers. 

But the CPI-M editorial said the vilification of the Taj was begun by Adityanath himself. In June, he called the Taj and similar Mughal monuments as not reflecting Indian culture, it said. 

It added that earlier the RSS promoted the view that the Taj Mahal was originally a Hindu temple.

"Such claims of the Hindu origins of Muslim monuments and mosques were the stable feature of Hindutva propaganda."


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