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Kerala Tourism ‘salutes Taj Mahal for inspiring millions’, Twitter users say it’s a message for UP

The Kerala Tourism department has thanked the Taj Mahal for “inspiring millions to discover India” amid controversies triggered by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders questioning the origin and heritage of the monument of love.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2017 14:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kerala Tourism,Taj Mahal,UP government
The Taj Mahal is India’s top tourism destination but has received a barrage of negative comments from top BJP leaders.(Reuters File Photo)

Twitter users say Kerala Tourism – run by the state’s government – is teaching a lesson to its Uttar Pradesh counterpart on how to do its job.

The Kerala Tourism department has thanked the Taj Mahal for “inspiring millions to discover India” amid controversies triggered by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders questioning the origin and heritage of the monument of love.

Controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som recently said the Taj Mahal was built by someone who wanted to wipe out Hindus, adding to a row over the iconic monument that draws crores of rupees in annual revenue. His remarks come days after the Taj Mahal, considered one of the seven wonders of the world, wasn’t mentioned in an Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet and received no fresh funds in the state budget.

“Many people were disappointed when Taj Mahal was removed from Indian history. What history are you talking about? The creator of the Taj Mahal (Mughal emperor Shah Jahan) imprisoned his own father. He wanted to wipe out Hindus from Hindustan,” Som can be heard telling a crowd in a video. Shah Jahan never imprisoned his father Jehangir. It was Shah Jahan’s son, the sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who placed him under house arrest at Agra Fort.

Another BJP leader, Vinay Katiyar, added to the row by saying that the moon-white marble mausoleum stands at a site where a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva once stood.

The Kerala Tourism handle did not refer to the controversial remarks by BJP leaders in its tweet.

The Taj Mahal is India’s top tourism destination but has received a barrage of negative comments from top BJP leaders, including chief minister Yogi Adityanath – who in June said the ivory-white marble mausoleum didn’t represent “Indian culture”. The 17th century structure has also seen a steady decline in footfall in recent years and is battling mounting pollution.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 14:58 IST