NEW DELHI: A day after the BJP’s Adityanath said the Taj Mahal is decidedly Indian, his party colleague Vinay Katiyar said that the monument used to be a temple that was destroyed by the MughalsKatiyar, a Parliamentarian who spearheaded the Ayodhya Ram temple movement in the early 1990s, added that the Taj Mahal is built on the exact spot where there used to be a Shivaling. He also said the Mughals destroyed all Hindu places of worship.
“The Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple. There are all the signs there of (Hindu) gods and goddesses, There used to be a Shivaling there which had water dripping on it from up top. That ling was removed and a mausoleum built there,” said the BJP MP.The Taj Mahal controversy began earlier this week when an Uttar Pradesh (UP) legislator from the BJP said it didn’t represent Indian culture as it was built by Mughals “who wanted to wipe out Hindus”. The legislator, Sangeet Som, also called all the Mughal emperors “traitors”.
He was then roundly berated by opposition parties for his comments.Yesterday, UP chief minister Adityanath waded into the controversy and expressed views different to that of Som.”It does not matter who built it (Taj Mahal) and for what reason; it was built by blood and sweat of Indian labourers,” said Adityanath, in what party insiders said was a reprimand to Som.
Earlier this month, an Uttar Pradesh government booklet to promote tourist spots in the state omitted the Taj Mahal from its list of the State’s historical sites.Touching on that controversy, Som wondered why “people like the man who built the Taj Mahal” should be considered part of Indian culture and history.