Amidst controversy over Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, has the monument built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan was very important for the state.
He told ANI, “It does not matter who built it and for what reason; it was built by blood and sweat of Indian labourers. It is very important for us, especially from tourism perspective it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there.”
His comments came after his riot accused BJP MLA, Sangeet Som, called one of the seven wonders of the word a ‘blot on Indian culture.’
Speaking at a rally in Meerut, Som, who has been charged with inciting communal violence that killed 60 people in Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, had said, “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.”
In response, former UP minister and Samajwadi Party leader, Azam Khan, had dared Adityanath to demolish Taj Mahal since it was a symbol of slavery for Indians. Khan had said that the BJP government’s inability to demolish the monument in Agra and other famous structures built by Mughal rulers will be because of their political impotency.
He had said, “Why just Taj Mahal. Let’s also demolish the parliament building, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Lal Quila and Qutub Minar. They were all built by the so-called invaders. I dare the ruler (Adityanath) to come with me and demolish Taj Mahal. I promise that I will be behind him in fulfilling the task.”
Taj Mahal has been a subject of controversy since Adityanath came to power earlier this year. The monument had failed to feature in the state government’s list of historical monument, as exclusively reported by Janta Ka Reporter. Adityanath himself had famously mocked the previous governments for choosing to present the replica of Taj Mahal to foreign dignitaries adding that the monument was not a symbol of Indian culture.
His office said on Tuesday that the chief minister will visit the Taj on 26 October.