Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Target Taj Mahal

There are some BJP members who want to erase all signs of Muslim Rule including Taj Mahal. For them it is not a symbol of love. One member referred to Taj Mahal as a blot on Indian culture. The talk caused outrage. UP CM defused the situation by saying Taj Mahal was built by the sweat and blood of Indian labourers.
UP tourism booklet mentions 20 sites and Taj Mahal is not one of them. The justification for that is Taj Mahal is famous and other sites need publicity. That is a good argument. People from all over the world come to see Taj Mahal. It does not need publicity.
The destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas caused worldwide outrage against the Taliban. For many outside India, Taj Mahal is the symbol of India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many tourists come to India to see only Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan was not an invader. He was born in India. He did not imprison his father. His son imprisoned him. He was a ruler, not a traitor. He is not known to persecute Hindus or demolish mosques.
Babri Mosque demolition caused riots all over India and protests outside India. There were plans to demolish Kashi and Mathura mosques. Taj Mahal as a target is a new development.
There is an agenda. It goes beyond Taj Mahal. If they succeed Ahmedabad, Akbarabad, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Faridabad, Feroz Shah Kotla, Ferozepur, Ghaziabad, Khuldabad, Hoshangabad, Hyderabad, Murshidabad, Muzaffarnagar, Muzaffarpur, Nizamuddin, Osmanabad, Sahibabad, Secundarabad, Tughlaqabad, Akbar Road, Babur Road, Humayun Road, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, will have change of names. Urdu will be banned. Biriyani will be banned. Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Char Minar will disappear.
Muslims are around 15% of population. There will be resistance by Muslims and others to change of names and destruction of monuments. There was not much opposition to change of name from Aurangzeb Road to A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Road. There was resistance to change of name from Akbar Road to Maharana Pratap Singh Road and Akbar Road remained. People can continue to use old names. Names like Baroda, Bombay, Calcutta, Calicut, Connaught Place, Crawford Market, Lamington Road, Princess Street, Warden Road, Salt Lake Stadium continue to be used.

Updated: October 26, 2017 — 7:33 am

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