NEW DELHI –– After a BJP leader’s controversial comments describing the Taj Mahal as a “blot on Indian culture”, Samajwadi Party lawmaker Azam Khan said today, “Why only Taj Mahal, Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan are also symbols of slavery and should be demolished.”
It is not clear whether Azam Khan, notorious for his outrageous comments, was being sarcastic in response to BJP lawmaker Sangeet Som’s words on the Taj.
“I have always held the view that all symbols of slavery should be erased. Why only Taj Mahal? Why not Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutub Minar and Red Fort? These are all symbols of ghulami (slavery). Traitors, as RSS people call them. If these are symbols of traitors, then they should be demolished,” Azam Khan told the ANI news agency.
On Sunday, Sangeet Som, a riot-accused BJP legislator charged with inciting communal violence that left over 60 dead in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, said the Taj Mahal was built by “traitors”.
“Many people were worried that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of historical places in the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The man who built Taj Mahal imprisoned his father. He wanted to massacre Hindus. If this is history, then it is very unfortunate and we will change this history, I guarantee you” Mr Som said at a rally in Meerut.
The Taj Mahal, the world-renowned marble monument to love built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century, was missing in a Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet released earlier this month to mark six months of the BJP government.
The Taj Mahal attracts millions of foreign and Indian tourists each year.
Uttar Pradesh’s ruling BJP and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have been accused of neglecting the Mughal-built monument purposely.