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Taj Mahal built on stolen land, says BJP leader

NEW DELHI: A Bharatiya Janata Party leader claims to have access to documents that suggest the property where Taj Mahal was built was stolen by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan from kings of Jaipur.

“There is evidence on record that Shah Jahan forced the Raja-Maharajas of Jaipur to sell the land on which Taj Mahal is standing, and he gave them a compensation of forty villages, which is nothing compared to the property’s value,” Subramanian Swamy told reporters.

Subramanian Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

He added he will release the copies of the evidence to the media soon.

“The documents also suggest that there was a temple on the property. But it is still not clear whether Taj Mahal was built after the demolition of a temple,” asserted Swamy.

He further said that the BJP has no intention of demolishing Taj Mahal, but only want three temples out of thousands demolished under the Muslim rule.

“We want only three, which are Ayodhya’s Ram, Krishna’s Mathura and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi. These three, once they are restored, we won’t be concerned about the remaining forty thousand,” said Swamy.

How did the controversy erupt?

A lawmaker in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party stoked controversy earlier this week by saying “traitors” built the Mughal-era landmark and calling it a blot on the country’s culture. A recent official pamphlet promoting sightseeing in the same state omitted the monument. That plays religious politics with one of India’s most popular visitor attractions.

A politician from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said the Taj Mahal was a “blot on Indian culture”, the Hindu newspaper reported on Oct. 16.

Sangeet Som, a lawmaker from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, repeated the comments about the Mughal-era monument in a series of television interviews, adding the Taj Mahal was built by “traitors”.

BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli distanced himself from Som’s remarks but did not condemn them, telling NDTV: “That is his individual view”.



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