Taj Mahal is again at the centre of controversy, three-days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the monument in Agra.
The youths of Hindu outfits, belonging to Rashtra Swabhimaan Dal (RSD) and Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), were caught on Monday by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel reciting ‘Shiva Chalisa’ (hymn) on the premises of the Taj Mahal.
According to media reports, the youths said that if namaz can be offered on the premises, then reciting ‘Shiva Chalisa’ should be acceptable too as the monument was “made over a razed Lord Shiva Temple”.
According to media reports, the group while validating their actions said that the Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva temple known as ‘Tejo Mahalaya’ and since Monday is a Lord Shiva day, the chanting of the hymn to Lord Shiva at Taj Mahal is justified.
The CISF later released the group after they gave a written apology for their action.
The incident comes after a BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Kanpur, Vinay Katiyar, had claimed that the mausoleum was built on the site where once a Hindu temple stood. Katiyar had also said that Taj Mahal was called ‘Tejo Mahalya’ — a Lord Shiva temple.
Senior Haryana Minister Anil Vij had also termed the monument a “khubsoorat kabristan (beautiful cemetery)”. He had tweeted that “Taj Mahal ek khoobsurat kabristan hai.”
#ताजमहल एक खूबसूरत कब्रिस्तान है ।
— ANIL VIJ (@anilvijminister) October 20, 2017
Earlier, controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som said that Taj Mahal was built by ‘traitors’ who targeted Hindus.
In a move to stem controversy over the Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said the Taj Mahal is an important tourist draw and it was immaterial who built it and for what reason.
Earlier in November, the UP government has omitted reference to the Taj Mahal from a tourism booklet published on completion of six months of the Yogi Adityanath government.