Five monuments including Taj Mahal, built by Muslim rulers, earn more than 50% of the total revenue generated by centrally-protected monuments across the country. Taj Mahal alone earns more than 20% of the total revenue
NEW DELHI: Even though it is top in Hindutva groups’ list of ‘symbols of slavery’, the Taj Mahal, the Mughal-era marvel, is the highest earner among centrally-protected monuments in the country.
In 2017-18, the centrally-protected monuments generated Rs 271.8 crore. More than half of the amount i.e. Rs 146.05 crore came from top five monuments built by Muslim rulers, four of them by the Mughal emperors.
While Taj Mahal alone generated the revenue worth Rs 56.83 crore, government earned Rs 30.55 crore from Agra Fort, Rs 23.46 crore from Qutub Minar, Rs 19.04 crore from Fatehpur Sikri and Rs 16.17 crore from Red Fort.
Except the Qutub Minar, which was built by rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, the rest were constructed by the Mughals.
Taj Mahal has been a hit and run object, at least verbally, for Hindutva groups for past some decades. Senior leaders including parliamentarians of BJP have declared the ‘memory of love’ as a ‘symbol of slavery’ and some of them said it was Tejo Mahalaya, a Shiva temple which was converted into Taj Mahal by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
A total of 64.58 lakh people visited the Taj Mahal in 2017-18. Red Fort received 31.79 lakh visitors, Qutub Minar 29.23 lakh, Agra Fort received 24.98 lakh and Fatehpur Sikri received 12.63 lakh visitors.
“It is impossible to communalise the entire Indian population through the meaningless political venom spewed by politicians,” historian S. Irfan Habib was quoted as saying by The Print while explaining the increase in visitors to the Taj.
“No matter what they say about the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, Indians will continue going there,” he added.