Faced with public condemnation over disparaging comments made by BJP leaders about Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath government has finally decided to provide a space to the historical monument in 2018 calendar.
Taj Mahal will now prominently feature in the state government’s 2018 calendar. On page 6 featuring month July, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Aditynatah are seen posing for camera with a splendid view of Taj on the page.
The calendar also included Gorakhnath Temple, whose priest has been none other than Adityanath. Prayagraj Triveni Sangam (Allahabad), Ram ki Paudi (Ayodhya), Barsane ki Holi (Mathura), Gurudwara Nanakmattha Saheb (Pilibhit), Devgarh Jain temple (Lalitpur), Sarnath Stupa (Varanasi), Rani Jhansi ka Kila (Jhansi), Sri Krishna Janmsthan temple (Mathura), Vindhyachal trikon darshan (Mirzapur) and Kanshi Vishwanath temple (Varanasi) also find a place in the calendar.
The inclusion of Taj Mahal in the state government’s calendar comes a week before Aditynatah travels to Agra, where he is scheduled to visit the symbol of love himself. Taj Mahal, one of the world’s seven wonders, has been a tourist attraction for the visitors from around the world. Many international guests including some heads of the state have visited the monument in the past. Uttar Pradesh earns crores of rupees from tourism here.
However, the BJP has been very critical of the monument since the party won a historic landlside in March this year. Adityanath himself had said that the monument wasn’t a part of the Indian culture. His riot accused MLA, Sangeet Som, said that it was built by traitors and his government will do everything possible to change the history.
The monument did not find a place in the state government’s official list of heritage buildings in Uttar Pradesh. The development had caused international outcry with foreign media blaming a government led by militant Hindutva for hating Taj Mahal just because it was built by Muslims.
Many critics have been quick to point out that the majority of the famous Indian buildings were built by Muslims or Britishers asking why the same BJP government must continue to feel proud of and even use those structures. Some of India’s iconic structures built by Muslim or British rulers include Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, the Parliament building, President House etc.