Skip to main content

Would Taj Mahal's splendor and glory meet the fate similar to the traumatic demolition of Babri Masjid?

By Adv Masood Peshimam
Former American President Bill Clinton while sighting the Taj Mahal erupted in joy and amazingly said that he has classified the world into two categories as those who have seen Taj Mahal and those who have not seen Taj Mahal. This was the statement of the most powerful President of the most powerful nation. Such was the statement of a person whose country has made the tremendous strides in science and technology.
Notwithstanding the wealth of charm and beauty of Taj Mahal, there are forces in our country who are not prepared to tolerate any accomplishment or marvel associated with Muslims, sensing a semblance of slavery and treachery.
Attuned to this tendency came the statement of BJP leader Sangeet Som, known for his inflammatory speeches and accused of instigating the deadly Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013.
He has no compunction in telling that Taj was the blot in history and needs to be erased. The world is looking at the Taj Mahal as the monument embellished with glory and pride, but Sangeet Som has some different music to play. The prevailing climate of opinion attuned to judging things in a prejudiced way and with a myopic vision is to promote hatred and hostility against Muslims based on intellectual terrorism.
The very purpose of the provocative statements is to polarize the society which would help in establishing the political sway of BJP. The muddied waters raises the question: Would the monument resplendent with splendor and glory meet the fate the traumatic demolished Babri Masjid?
What is no less disgusting is the fact that Taj Mahal is managed by the UP government and the architecture is within the ambit of legality and tourists keep swelling making the UP government earn a large chunk of money. Any criticism of Taj Mahal is terribly misplaced and highly improper, that too from a BJP MLA whose party is governing the state.
While targeting Taj Mahal as the memory of traitors, Sangeet Som said that Shahjahan who built the 17th century mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal had jailed his father and wanted to wipe out Hindus. Misquoting history in such a brazen fashion reflects on the quality of the knowledge of the BJP leader. The ignominious ignorance of the BJP leader about the very much known historical incidents suggests the need of the BJP leader to study seriously before making startling revelation.
Sangeet Som’s allegation that Mughals were out to wipe out Hindus is the product of his fertile imagination and virtual falsehood. Mughal rulers were not the religious breed. Instead, the Mughal rulers shared quite cordial relations with Hindus, particularly Rajputs. A lot of Rajputs enjoyed key positions in the Mughal administration unlike the present day communalists who, despite the tall talk of equality and secular values, can’t tolerate a Muslim peon.
In the present environment with the inherent bias every effort is made to see that Muslims do not get an outlet for the manifestation of their talents. There is no need to kill the talented person. The denial of opportunity to the talented person would eventually suffocate him to the death unsung and unwept.
The BJP stalwart, while targeting the splendorous monument as a blot on history, also lashed out at Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance”. Before castigating the Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and the period of incomparable intolerance” it would have been better if the BJP had considered the prevailing alarming situation in the country where there is sustained campaign of violence against Muslims in the name of cow protection. The worst irony is that those attacked are booked and prosecuted.
The massive wave of violence is swelling leaps and bounds without any restraint or accountability. Is it no barbarism and incomparable in toleration to kill and maim the innocents and disrupt their families, sometimes in the name of cow protection or combating terrorism or on some other pretexts?
The communal forces have to some extent succeeded in proliferating the anti-Muslim psyche and given this situation it is not difficult to understand the plight of a common and poor Muslims at the hands of those equipped with unlimited power. Is it not a travesty of justice to victimize the innocents, and sometimes the criminal conduct is justified on one pretext or the other.
The controversy over Taj has further expanded with certain forces trying to paint Taj as a Hindu monument without giving thought to the fact that one of the cardinal beauties of the magnificent monument is inscription of Quranic calligraphy on the glorious architecture and there is the existence of the mosque in Taj.
Sangeet Som while dictating his communal agenda at least agreed that it was built by Shahjahan.
Taj Mahal is the symbol of love and affection and placing it in the communal context is uncalled for.
The theories that Taj Mahal was built by non-Muslims are set afloat as part of a conspiracy to lower the morale of the Muslims and penetrate inferiority complex in the community. Such obnoxious efforts are aimed at perpetuating the slavish mentality in the beleaguered community. Such biased approach being implemented aggressively is not limited to Taj Mahal but other monuments or places of worship also could not escape such communal influences which weaken or diminish their Muslim flavor or affiliation.
Muslims in India are too weak to resist such arm twisting. Either Muslim creations are tried to be snuffed out or their essence is changed to some other flavor.
Reacting to Sangeet Som’s derogatory comments over Taj Mahal and Mughals, three time Hydrabad MP AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at BJP after its legislator Sangeet Som called Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture built by “traitors”. Condemning Som’s statement, Owaisi said, “If what Som says is true then why did Modi hoist the national flag at Red Fort since it was also built by traitors?”
Describing the BJP man’s comments as uneducated and unfortunate, he said the PM hosted former U.S President Barrack Obama at the Hyderabad house which was also constructed by a traitor.
Owaisi is the only Muslim leader who resists and replies the calumny and disinformation campaign against Muslims. He has emerged as the leader who quickly and effectively responds to the Muslim bashing. His views are shared by the national and international media. He is the only cock in the farmyard. It’s not understood as to why the entire Muslim or secular leadership is sleeping over the distorted pieces of information except a person or two.
In the absence of intellectual combat the anti-Muslim discourse gets one sided and it’s easy to tarnish the image of the community and none sheds tears over the victimization of the defamed community. There is sinister design to hate Muslim campaign.
The BJP tried to maintain distance from the provocative statements of Sangeet Som which is a cosmetic exercise. Distancing from the provocative statements woefully lacks the credible narrative.
It is the absence of any restraining influence by the party over the inflammatory utterances by BJP men which made the deputy CM of UP Dinesh Sharma define Mughals as looters.
Sharma while branding Mughals as looters bypassed the fact that concept of loot implies someone decamping or running away with the booty. In contrast the Mughals not only remained attached to this soil but also made significant contribution to the socio-cultural development of the land. In their quest to enrich the soil the Mughals created the wonders like Taj Mahal so on and so forth.
Whatever comments Sangeet Som or Dinesh Sharma make the fact remains that they are only worth rebuke and derision at large? Only gullible can be fooled.
Such firework is only aimed to divert the attention from the dismal failure of the BJP government whose sheen appears to be wearing off. It is in the national interest with the plural society to ban such fire work before it is too late. Any delay in banning or restraining such firework would only be catastrophic.

Comments

TRENDING

Tracing roots of Hindutva Zionism: cannon fodder for 'warped' nationalist pretensions

By Shamsul Islam*  Those who believe in a world free of hegemonic ethno-nationalism, racism, religious bigotry and hatred have rightly taken note of Zionism and its ally Christian Zionism, major perpetrators of ethnic cleansing of ‘Others’. However, the civilized world with its core belief in multi-culturalism and peaceful co-existence is oblivious to a no less dangerous threat to the present human civilization: the Hindutva Zionism. As the term reads it is part of the Hindutva world-view which stands for an exclusive Hindu India minus Muslims and Christians. The other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism will have no independent status but treated as part of Hinduism. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS; National Volunteer Organization) is the most prominent flag-bearer of the Hindutva politics whose cadres presently rule India, the largest democracy in the world. RSS was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (1889-1940) in 1925 who was disillusioned with the Indian freedom st

'Blatant violation' of law by Central government in making NREGA payments

By Our Representative  In September third week, NREGA workers across the country were mobilised for two day so raise their issues and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Organised the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country, workers from 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- carried out Kaam Do Abhiyaan, staging demonstrations and rallies against what they called blatant violation of law by the Central government in making NREGA payments. While NREGA has had very positive impacts, it has lately become fruitless, exploiting labour, even though workers who have put in honest hard work have to wait for their wages endlessly, it was suggested.  In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entit

Shocking? No Covid vaccine trials conducted on pregnant, lactating women: RTI reply

By Rosamma Thomas*  A Right to Information applicant who sought details of safety trials conducted in India on pregnant and lactating women for three Covid vaccines in use in India – Covishield, Covaxin and ZyCov-D -- was shocked to learn from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) that Serum Institute, manufacturer of Covishield, and Cadila Healthcare, manufacturer of the ZyCov-D vaccine, had not sought permission for such trials.  Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, had sought permission for trial on pregnant women and later withdrawn its application. This response , provided after the applicant was initially unsatisfied with the response and went in appeal, is from the joint drugs controller, CDSCO. It was dated September 13, 2022. One researcher closely following the vaccine rollout, however, is of the opinion that the lack of a trial on pregnant and lactating women is a blessing; potential trial participants and their unborn babies thus escaped harm. Aruna Ro

Fascism on prowl? Religious meet 'deeply pained' at silence of Church, bishops, priests

Counterview Desk  The ‘Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace’which held its 17th National Convention at the Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana from 22 to 24 September 2022 on the theme “Deepening our Identity as Religious: Responding to the Signs of the Times”, has expressed concern “at the deteriorating situation of our nation on every front”, especially stating, “Fascism seems to have come to stay” in India. At the same time, the convention, which took place with the participation of 60 persons from 16 states representing 20 religious congregations, in its unanimously-adopted statement added, “We have reached abysmal depths on every parameter: be it social, economic and political”, underlining, “The poor in India become poorer every day; the rich and powerful continue to profiteer at their expense and amass scandalous amounts of wealth.” Text: We, members (63 women and men Religious, from 16 states representing 20 Congregations) of the Forum of Religious for Justice

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Introducing non-native cheetahs is 'not equivalent' to restoring pride in the nation

By Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay*  The Cheetahs from the African continent has finally been introduced to India by the Indian Prime Minister on his 72nd birthday. The process had started with the previous Government in 2009. However, the Supreme Court clearance was pending owing to the objection by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) plea to reintroduce cheetahs. Finally the clearance was obtained in January 2020 and thereafter Kuno National Park (KNP) was chosen for the reintroduction of first set of Southeast African Cheetahs. In the near future, depending upon the success story of the current reintroduction, more cheetahs from South Africa may also be introduced. This exercise has generated a lot of interest among various stakeholders with opinions on both sides galore. It is important to pose some questions that surround the whole exercise. Let us evaluate some of these arguments. The first set of arguments are quite detached from the issues of conservation as they most

'Military diplomacy': US praises Bangladesh Army for leadership role in UN operations

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder* As the Indo-Pacific region represents the world’s economic and strategic center of gravity, the Indian Ocean today is becoming the centerpiece of all geo-strategic play. Cooperation in the region is crucial to implementing the international community’s global agenda, including achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Major powers like the US have enhanced and deepened their strategic engagement and leadership roles with countries in the region. The Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar, or IPAMS, is a U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) initiated conference that is aimed at facilitating and enhancing interactions among the armies of the Indo-Pacific region. This year's 46th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS)-2022, co-hosted by the Bangladesh Army and US Army Pacific (USARPAC), concluded in Dhaka. The objective of IPAMS is to promote peace and stability in the region through mutual understanding, dialogue, and friendship. It is the largest confer

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Grave error? Scholar blames ex-Gujarat babu for anti-Christian riots 'citing fake report'

By Rajiv Shah  A few days back, I received a message from one of the finest former Gujarat government bureaucrats, PG Ramrakhiani, a 1964 batch IAS official, who retired in November 2000. I would often interact with him in 1997-99, even later, after I was sent to Gandhinagar as a Times of India man to cover Sachivalaya. Those were turbulent times. Shankarsinh Vaghela was the Gujarat chief minister, under attack from two sides – from the BJP, which he had left to form a separate breakaway party, Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), one one hand, and the Congress, which was supporting him from outside, on the other. Ramrakhiani, in his message, referred to the book authored by Ghanshyam Shah and Jan Breman, both top-notch scholars who have known Gujarat in and out. Called “Gujarat, Cradle and Harbinger of Identity Politics: India’s Injurious Frame of Communalism”, I reviewed the book in January 2022.  It claims that Muslims in Gujarat have been turned into “new untouchables”, thanks to the Hin

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.