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Opinion: Thank God, Taj Mahal Bachaa

Coronavirus had barely subsided in our nation when it was hit by one other lethal virus – the communal virus. Coronavirus affected the human physique; the communal virus has affected the physique politic. The complete society, together with the varied governments on the centre and within the states, determinedly fought towards the coronavirus, however the communal virus is definitely being promoted and unfold by the BJP, its cohorts and the governments run by it on the centre and in numerous states.

The Prime Minister, who’s so vocal on all points, shares his ‘Mann ki Baat’ repeatedly with the folks and is keen on addressing the nation at eight within the night, is totally silent on this situation. What else can clarify the truth that he has not condemned the violence nor appealed to the folks to take care of peace? Clearly the Prime Minister and his social gathering are complicit, a keen promoter of the mayhem we’re witnessing in the present day.

The goal of this new environment of hate is the Muslim neighborhood, the historical past of Muslim rulers, Muslim names of cities, villages, roads and mohallas, Muslim monuments, specifically their locations of worship, lots of them linked with an vital a part of our historical past. Their demand is that these names must be modified (and they’re being modified wherever potential); that every one their locations of worship constructed after destroying Hindu temples must be changed by the temples as in Ayodhya; that different monuments the place there may be any hint of a Hindu connection,actual or imaginary, must be transformed into Hindu monuments (the Taj Mahal must be declared to be a Hindu construction and named Tajo Mahal after some imaginary Hindu queen or deity); and in reality, all traces of Muslim rule in India must be obliterated and made to fade from our historical past books.

It was on this connection {that a} Public Interest Litigation plea was filed searching for to open the closed doorways of the Taj Mahal; this was performed within the Allahabad High Court (which mercifully has not but been named the Prayagraj High Court) by an enterprising BJP functionary in UP to permit him the usage of these locked rooms for analysis functions. He thought that the locked rooms would reveal the Hindu connection of this monument, although the Archaeological Survey of India has repeatedly stated that the rooms are saved locked by them and there aren’t any statues of Hindu gods and goddesses there. So the intention of the petitioner was removed from sincere; the courtroom noticed by way of it and dismissed his petition with a ringing rebuke.

We are grateful to the courtroom for this order and hopefully it’ll have a dampening influence on different such adventurers. But not all courts within the nation are so daring or honest. See what is occurring in Varanasi with the Gyanvapi mosque? There is little doubt that this mosque was constructed after destroying a Hindu temple. The destruction was not full and parts of the temple are nonetheless seen inside and out of doors the mosque. A courtroom in Varanasi has ordered videography of the place. To decide what? In reality, the Gyanvapi mosque represents the historical past of India as maybe few historic constructions do, and brings out clearly what rulers used to do prior to now, specifically with locations of worship of the opposite neighborhood. It must be preserved as such to show what we went by way of for the duration of time in our historical past, and why such examples shouldn’t be repeated in a contemporary liberal society. But the Muslims alone usually are not responsible of this crime. Hindus did it on a big scale with Buddhist locations of worship after banishing an incredible faith like Buddhism from India. These examples are strewn everywhere in the nation. Buddha’s statues have been draped in a sari, the face painted to appear to be a lady’s, and he and his disciples are being worshipped like Hindu goddesses. Should the Buddhists begin reclaiming their locations of worship that have been transformed into Hindu temples? And the place is all this going to finish?

The Taj Mahal just isn’t even a spot of worship. It is a monument constructed by a Muslim ruler hopelessly in love along with his spouse. It is without doubt one of the Seven Wonders of the World. All governments in India have inspired visiting dignitaries to go to the Taj Mahal and get photographed in entrance of it. Change its identify to Tajo Mahal and you’d have destroyed not solely the Taj Mahal but in addition the composite tradition of India. Many years in the past, I used to be invited by some folks in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh to provide a public lecture. It is a small metropolis about 200 kilometres from Indore however like many different cities in Madhya Pradesh, it had a practice of public lectures the place the folks gathered within the open to take heed to the speaker. During my go to to town, my hosts took me to see some historic monuments, of which Burhanpur has a lot. One of the locations I visited was the Jama Masjid in-built 1589. I used to be stunned to note the Sanskrit inscription on the entrance gate of the mosque written in Devnagri script. It gives the astronomical place, date and 12 months of building based on the Hindu samvat. Who taught the virtues of communal concord or of secularism to the Muslim ruler who constructed this mosque and allowed an inscription in Sanskrit? Indian historical past even within the time of Muslim rulers was by no means one-sided. There have been shining examples of communal tolerance and concord. The British destroyed it by pitting one neighborhood towards the opposite so as to divide and rule. We are nonetheless carrying that baggage and it’s being made extra burdensome in the present day by the fanatics in each communities.

India is not going to prosper on the premise of a communal divide, on the premise of hatred and the violence it’ll generate. An awesome and affluent India might be constructed solely on the premise of communal concord, secularism and inclusiveness. Let the Taj Mahal be. Let it shine within the moonlight because the Taj Mahal constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in reminiscence of his loving spouse.

(Yashwant Sinha, former BJP chief, was Minister of Finance (1998-2002) and Minister of External Affairs (2002-2004). He is presently vice-president, Trinamool Congress.)

Disclaimer: These are the non-public opinions of the writer.

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