Noida, Oct 16, 2017: BJP leader Sangeet Som has racked up fresh controversy on Monday by saying the Taj Mahal is a “blot” on Indian culture and misquoted history by saying that Shah Jahan, builder of the 17th century marble mausoleum, had jailed his father and wanted to wipe out Hindus from the country.
The remarks by the Sardhana MLA in Meerut came after the Uttar Pradesh government removed the Taj Mahal from the list of attractions in its tourism booklet.
Addressing a public gathering in Meerut, Som said “Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The man who built Taj Mahal (Shahjahan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out all Hindus from India. If this is history, then it is very sad and we will change this history.”
“I guarantee you that we will change this history,” Som was shown saying in an undated viral video, he added.
Som wrongly quoted history saying Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had jailed his father. It was Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb who had dethroned and jailed his father inside the Agra Fort.
Earlier in 2017, UP CM Yogi Adityanath was in the news for saying that the Taj Mahal is not a reflection of Indian culture. He added that foreign dignitaries are now being gifted copies of the Gita and Ramayana by government officials, instead of replicas of the marble mausoleum.
The Taj, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.