Agra, Oct 16: BJP leader Sangeet Som has triggered controversy by saying the Taj Mahal is a “blot” on Indian culture and misquoted history by saying that Shah Jahan, builder of the 17th century marble mausoleum, had jailed his father and wanted to wipe out Hindus from the country.
The remarks by the Sardhana MLA in Meerut came after the Uttar Pradesh government removed the Taj Mahal from the list of attractions in its tourism booklet.
“Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from the UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? Whose history?
“The creator of the Taj Mahal (Shah Jahan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out all Hindus from India. If these people are part of our history, then it is very unfortunate.
“I guarantee you that we will change this history,” Som was shown saying in an undated viral video, apparently addressing a public gathering.
TV reports said the BJP leader was addressing a gathering in Meerut.
Som wrongly quoted history saying Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had jailed his father. It was Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb who had dethroned and jailed his father inside the Agra Fort.
The Taj, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.