Political Taj-War triggers off, as Monument of Love
drops out of UP Tourism booklet
Secularist, Socialist, Republic of India stands divided, as politicians
draw loggerheads on the appended tourism booklet of Uttar Pradesh,
sans Taj Mahal – the Lover’s Pride of India, a’ Seven wonder’ of the
If you had voted earnestly a decade ago, sending SMSes in support of Taj Mahal’s
inclusion in the “New Seven Wonders of the World list of 2007”, you’d be
weeping right now. Monument of Love, the pristine white marble piece of
wonder Taj has been declared a drop-out from state-list of UP’s Tourism Booklet!
Case in point – UP government released a tourism booklet to mark six months of
Yogi Adityanath govt. The booklet, promising plans for new tourist attractions,
included a tour of monuments and locations akin to the Ramayana. The list
included existing tourist destinations like Mahant CM’s Gorakhpur temple, but
peculiarly marked the deletion of Taj Mahal. The booklet stresses on the need to
promote less-famous Hindu pilgrimage sites in the state.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi reacted sharply to this deletion, and a
political spate got ignited. UP’s Laxmi Narayan Choudhary, Minister-in- charge of
religious affairs and Culture, rebutted and stood in support of the exclusion. He
went ahead to suggest replacing Taj’s prominence with Guru Gorakhnath Peeth.
To add fuel to the Taj-exclusion fire, firebrand BJP MLA Sangeet Som sang Hate-
tunes and added to the fierce controversy. “Taj Mahal has been built by traitors,”
screamed Som, going ahead to call “Taj Mahal” a blot on the Indian culture.
As political swords hinged naked wars, Som clarified to a TV channel a few minutes
ago, saying, “I have nothing against the monument of Love. I stand opposed to
the one who built it.”
Women and Child Development Minister of UP Rita Bahuguna took a neutral
stand and spoke to media a few seconds ago. She clarified that UP government is
working towards the development of Agra and Taj Mahal as a tourism hub and the
controversy is based on personal views of people who have participated in the Taj
debate. As the debate stirs political corridors — India expects political opposites to put
aside the regional divide of mind, and honor the seven wonder Taj Mahal, which
has struggled long enough, to find a place in the hearts of True-Love believers of
the world, including worldwide commoners like you and me, as well as delegates
like Late Princess Diana, Ex-President Obama, and Ex-First Lady Michelle, to name
a few. Now Taj would be only appreciated on the tea packet cover “waah Taj’.