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October 11th, 2017

Taj Mahal? What? Where?

Take one of the most iconic, beautiful, most recognisable buildings in the world.

That would be the Ta…well, sorry to disappoint you, but if you were hoping to find the Taj Mahal being proudly extolled by the government of Uttar Pradesh, the state where this breathtaking monument is located…fact is, that’s not happening.

’cos the BJP state government has decided that the Taj Mahal simply doesn’t cut the mustard.

The esteemed state government has published a booklet – a pretty divinely retro move, by the way, in this smart-phone era – but anyway, yes, the esteemed BJP government has published a booklet showcasing the state’s tourism potential, but the Taj didn’t make the cut.

Ah well.

Too bad.

It’s not like zillions of visitors and UNESCO know anything about heart-stopping beauty, cultural significance and world heritage, after all.

Let’s just face it – the Taj Mahal is, when you get down to it, just another old marble monument, which pales into global insignificance compared to Guru Gorakhnath peeth, for example.

Hey!  I’m quoting the Right Hon Laxmi Narayan Choudhary here, the state minister in charge of religious affairs and culture (a natural coupling of portfolios, wouldn’t you agree?).

The esteemed Right Hon. Minister says, and I quote, that the monument was:

“rightly kept out and should instead be replaced with the Guru Gorakhnath peeth.”

He further clarified this viewpoint by pointing out that – and I am again quoting the Times of India:

“the present UP government was ‘rashtravadi’ (nationalist) and run on ‘dharm niti’ (religious policy).”


Knew there was a reason for linking religion and culture in the same ministerial portfolio.

The Right Hon. Minister was on cracking form when he was questioned about the absence of that what’s-its-name monument.  Someone pointed out that the UNESCO heritage site is hailed as one of the wonders of the world.

Well, retorted the Minister:

“Those who included the monument in that list must have been of a similar taste (mizaz) as those who built it.”

Right back at you, all you un-rashtravadi-types who think that a monument built by a Muslim to honour his wife should be up there as a global symbol.

Just in case you wanted to see what this apparently un-rashtravadi monument looks like, here it is:

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