New Delhi: Adding to the ongoing controversy over Taj Mahal, SP leader Azam Khan on Tuesday said “Not getting rid of signs of slavery is an act of political impotency”.
Without taking Sangeet Som’s name, Azam Khan said “I am not responding to the man who made this statement, because people who have slaughter houses running have no right to give any suggestions”.
Khan further added that not only Taj Mahal, even “Parliament house, President house, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Agra Fort should be demolished for all these are signs of slavery”.
Placing the Taj Mahal in the crosshairs of another controversy, BJP MLA Sangeet Som on Monday questioned the 17th century architectural marvel's place in India's heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.
Som's comments during a visit to Meerut district prompted an angry response from All India Majlis-e-c Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi who asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the monument.
The BJP stepped into the row with party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao describing Muslim rule in India as "barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance" while asserting that its members could hold any opinion they want on specific monuments.
Som, the party's legislator from Sardhana, also distorted history to say it was built by an emperor who had imprisoned his father and targeted Hindus.
In fact, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was the one imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb.
In comments that came soon after the Yogi Adityanath government reportedly left out the Taj Mahal from an official tourism booklet, Som 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?"