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History not written by politicians: RSS affiliate on Sangeet Som’s Taj Mahal comment

The RSS offshoot ABISY has distanced itself from the comments made by BJP MLA Sangeet Som.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2017 07:30 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna,RSS,Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
BJP MLA Sangeet Som shocked many with his comments that the monument was built by someone who wanted to wipe out Hindus.(HT File Photo)

The Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna (ABISY), an offshoot of the RSS, which pushes for rewriting history from a national perspective, says politicians should refrain from making disparaging remarks about the Taj Mahal, a monument built by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan.

The UNESCO-protected monument, which draws approximately eight million tourists a year, has been in the midst of a controversy after BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh, Sangeet Som, shocked many with his comments that the monument was built by someone who wanted to wipe out Hindus.

“History is not written by politicians. It is the work of historians and archaeologists to conduct research and this work should be left to them. Politicians should not comment on the history of the Taj Mahal, which is the outcome of hard labour put in by Indians,” Balamukund Pandey, ABISY secretary, told HT.

The RSS functionary, who recently pitched for including “Indian heroes” such as Hemchandra, the “last Hindu king”, in the pantheon of Indian rulers, asserted that the Taj Mahal cannot be discounted as a Mughal construction alone. “It is a work of art, a big draw for tourists. Who made it is not important, what is important is that it is a popular destination in India,” Pandey said.

The RSS offshoot, which has persistently sought the rewriting of history textbooks prescribed in schools and colleges to “correct the distortions made by the British”, has distanced itself from the comments made by Som.

However, it does obliquely refer to the demand raised by several BJP and RSS sympathisers to open the basement of the Taj Mahal to search for evidence that the monument has a Hindu origin.

Hindu groups have periodically filed petitions to declare the Taj a Hindu temple.

“History is not the final truth. There is scope for researching more but there are scientific ways of doing so. Much progress has been made in the way archaeological and historical research can be conducted, agencies such as the Archaeological Survey of India, UNESCO, can use scientific and specialised X-rays to find out more about the monument,” said Pandey.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 07:30 IST