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Shameful statements on TaJ Mahal


Ancient buildings and famous monuments all over India have remained in the radar of right wing politicians and historians. Well supported by equally vocal right wing media fueling many controversies and myths regarding some world famous monuments, which are not only engineering marvel but also depicts our glorious past? Instead of nurturing them and be proud, these people unashamedly deride and create unnecessary controversies. Irrespective of who built it they are ours, we should be proud of them and direct our energies to protect them. Taj Mahal unfortunately is the latest in a series of many uncalled for insinuation by the “so called arm chair critics bent upon showing their ignorance and distorted thinking.”
Sangeet Som from UP, a BJP MLA, says Taj Mahal is a “blot on Indian culture” interestingly the UP chief minister held similar views resulting in removal of Taj from its tourism booklet. Due to severe criticism the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, amended his stand said “Taj was built by the sweat and blood of Indian workers” tried to explain tourism booklet left out established tourism spots over new ones. This was too late and flimsy attempt to salvage the damage and placate angry Indians. Meanwhile another right wing politician Vinay Katiyar claimed that Taj in fact was a Shiva temple, razed by the Emperor Shah Jahan to build the embodiment of love.
Anil Viz a Haryana minister could not be left behind as he claims the Taj as “beautiful burial ground” completely ignoring the tag, monument of love, Taj enjoyed for centuries. The incorrigible Subramanian Swami in his own style claimed the Taj has been built on stolen land. He claims to have records to show that emperor Shah Jahan forced the Raja maharaja of Jaipur to sell the piece of land on which the Taj Mahal is standing. The compensation for the land is believed to be forty villages. He further laments that the cost paid by Shah Jahan was a pittance when compared the value of land he bought. I don’t think swami is qualified quantity surveyor to estimate the valuation of property.
Many myths kept erupting by the wildly imaginative right wing politicians from time to time. The most prominent repeated by the unofficial guides at the Taj that the emperor ordered cutting of hands of the masons and artisans associated with building the famous monument. The descendants of these gallant workforce still lives in the area adjacent to the Taj known as “Taj Ganj.” This was set up during the construction of Taj Mahal where masons artisans and other workers lived. Soon after these workers built another beautiful city called Shahjahanabad in Delhi. If thousands of the skilled labours hands were chopped it would be impossible to find their replacement for building a whole new Imperial city in such a short time.
Unfortunately all of these eminent gentlemen belong to the party in power at the center whose main emphasis is inclusive development. There should be no place for such derogatory and distorted statements especially by the members of the ruling party. I am certain such misadventure will not only be embarrassing to the party and government but a sure remedy for eroding its base affecting adversely its chances of getting reelected.

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Surendra Mohan Shukla

Media/Journalist/Author

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

Surendra Mohan Shukla M.B.B.S. Jabalpur University December 1962 Master of Surgery (M.S.) in ophthalmology, Jabalpur University April 1966. Joined as Lecturer at MGM medical college Indore in June 1968, Proceeded to Lusaka, Zambia in southern Africa. Joined the Ministry of health as consultant and honorary senior lecturer in the school of medicine, University of Zambia. Elected, fellow of Society of eye surgeons, Maryland USA 1983. Visiting professor and examiner in the university of Zimbabwe and Malawi school of ophthalmic clinical officer. Involved as trustee and later as chairman of an NGO called Human Service Trust in Lusaka Zambia-to bring immigrant Indians together-on India return, correspondent Hindustan Times, Bhopal

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