Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today courted controversy when he claimed that the Taj Mahal “did not reflect Indian culture”. “Foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of the Taj Mahal and other minarets, which did not reflect Indian culture,” Adityanath said. He added that in lieu of replicas of Taj Mahal, they were being given epics such as Bhagvad Gita and Ramayana, supposedly more representative of Indian culture. The comments were made at a rally in Darbhanga district of Bihar, his first visit to the state since taking oath as CM of the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
“The gifts given to them were Agra’s Taj Mahal or some minar that has no connection with India’s culture or heritage,” said the 45-year-old saffron-robed Chief Minister.
“This is the first time this has happened that when India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi goes abroad, or any foreign president visits India, he is gifted the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita or Ramayan,” he said.
The Taj Mahal, one of the seven modern wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and completed in 1630s. It attracts 2 to 4 million tourists every year from all over the world, and represents the height of Mughal architecture, a fusion of Turkish, Persian and Hindu architectural styles of the time.
The chief minister, attacking the ruling JD(U)-RJD alliance, also questioned the silence of the Nitish Kumar-government over the issue of triple talaq, which is being heard out in the Supreme Court over the summer session. The flamboyant saffron leader also termed the alliance between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav opportunistic and unholy, and claimed that the storm of the BJP party would wash over them in the 2020 elections. Nature will not accept this mismatch alliance. A cleanliness drive will be conducted to oust this alliance,” he said.