By Saeed Mushtaq Awan.
It’s probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of India and why not??
The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the yamuna river in the city of Agra it was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
People call it “A symbol of love” it is the best example of Mughal architecture.
It’s the most visited monument in the country, people come here to feel the love of a husband for his wife, that is the significance of the mausoleum.
Foreign dignitaries have it on their itinerary and it’s often making an appearance in Hollywood movies but the authorities from the state of Uttar Pradesh where the mughal mausoleum is located omitted this landmark in a recent tourism brochure. Tourists are instead encouraged to visit Hindu attractions such as the temple of Mathura and the riverside ghats of varanasi and this might be why???
The state is ruled by yogi adiyanath who recently mentioned that..!!!
“The taj mahal has no connection with india’s culture or heritage”making a controversial claim. The Mausoleum has been always an identity reflecting Indian Heritage of the Mughal Era.
Other politicians from the ruling BJP party are also calling the Taj Mahal, a symbol of barbarism According to them the Mughal king wanted to wipe out Hindus from the sub continent.
This UNESCO heritage site is a prominent landmark of the indian sub-continent’s Mughal history but it’s not the only one, The Mughals ruled for over 300 years building a vast empire that spread across South Asia ushering a golden age of art and architecture, But erasing the Mughal past is not just limited to tourism brochures, they are wiping it out from history textbooks too. The education board of the state of Maharashtra has reduced the empire’s reign to just one chapter instead chapters have been added that are focusing on the rule of the Hindu King Shivaji. There have also been demands by Hindu right wing parties,that roads and monuments named after Mughal emperors be rechristened. One of the country’s oldest train stations, the mughalsarai junction was renamed after a former Hindu leader that PM Modi idolises, while the indian government continues to polarise existing communities and rewriting history
Is it also trying to divide it’s historic past by fusing Hinduism with Nationalism??
The Taj Mahal attracts 7-8 million visitors a year. In 2007 it was declared winner of the “New7wonders of the world”
India earn millions of dollars from annually from Taj Mahal from tourism and now their politicians are making this controversial by criticising Mughal Era’s history and infrastructure and are also encouraging, tourists to visit Hindu attractions. This is been done in bid to cash the next elections, because in India if you’re against Muslims then it’s fine for your good status and for elections.
India have to solve this matter through dialogue, because Taj Mahal is not in Pakistan, it’s India’s property. But it is wasting it in selfish motives as their some right wing politicians are advocating Hindutva for self interest.
Taj Mahal is a legacy and history of Mughal Empire, so India as a responsible nation should maintain it.
I would like to conclude it by famous quote;
“Those who forget their history (past), are removed from the world”.
Saeed Mushtaq Awan is a student of international relations in International Islamic university Islamabad. Blogs writing is his hobby.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org