Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has also jumped into the political slugfest that BJP MLA Som triggered on Monday, 16 October, after he questioned Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage saying it was built by "traitors" and added that history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.
“Why just Taj Mahal? Demolish all other signs of slavery,” ANI quoted Khan as saying.
Mai pehle se iss rai ka hoon ki ghulami ki un tamaam nishaniyon ko mita dena chahiye jisse kal ke shasakon ki boo aati ho. Akele Taj Mahal hi kyun? Parl, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutb Minar, Lal Qila kyun nahi? Ye sab ghulaami ki nishani hai. (I have already said, all signs of slavery should be wiped. Why the Taj Mahal alone? Why not even the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Qutb Minar and Lal Qila? These are all signs of slavery.)
Adding that the RSS has decided the Mughals were traitors, Khan said, “Agar ye traitors ki nishaniyan hain toh demolish kar dena chahiye (if these are symbols of traitors, they should be demolished.)”
During a speech in Uttar Pradesh, Som had said:
Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places (tourist destinations). What type of history? Is this history that the person who built the Taj Mahal imprisoned his father? Do you call it history when the one who built the Taj targeted many Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Hindustan?Sangeet Som
His comments came after the Uttar Pradesh government reportedly left out the 17th century architectural marvel from an official tourism booklet.
Several politicos reacted to Som’s remarks. While some condoned it, many condemned it.
BJP Practicing Autocracy: Mamata Banerjee
Political leaders were quick to respond to Som’s controversial comments, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who said it’s the BJP’s “systematic political agenda to finish India’s culture and heritage".
I don’t know how they excluded Taj Mahal. They changed Mughalsarai’s name, but if they want to change India’s name, where will we go... What the BJP is practicing is not democracy, but autocracy.Mamata Banerjee
“Sharam Toh Bech Khayi Hai”: Congress Spokesperson
Congress’ national spokesperson also lashed out at Som, who has been accused for delivering provocative speeches.
BJP Must Take Action Against Him: JD(U) Leader
Janata Dal (U) spokesperson Pavan Varma told NDTV:
Every sane party will condemn Sangeet Som’s remarks on Taj Mahal. The BJP should take action against him.
Will PM Not Hoist Flag From Red Fort as It Was Also Built by Traitors: Owaisi
In a scathing response, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi asked if PM Modi will stop hoisting the tiranga (tricolour) from the Red Fort as it was built by “traitors”.
No More Speeches From Red Fort, Asks Omar Abdullah
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah tweeted:
Taj Mahal Area Owned By Maharaja of Jaipur: Swamy
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy defended Som’s comment and said he is entitled to his own view.
There is no controversy. Som has a view. I have got a document which shows that the area where Taj Mahal stands today was owned by the Maharaja of Jaipur.Subramanian Swamy to Times Now
Taj Mahal Can Be a Symbol of Love, Not of Worship: Rizwi
Chairman of Shia Waqf Board told ANI that Taj Mahal cannot be a symbol of worship because apart from one or two, most other Mughals were 'aiyaash'. He added that even Muslims don't consider them to be their idols.
(This story has been updated.)
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