Fueling the Taj Mahal controversy even further, a cabinet minister of the state, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary has said that the famous monument was rightly kept out of the tourism booklet of Uttar Pradesh and it should instead be replaced with the Guru Gorakhnath peeth.
The minister in charge of religious affairs and culture said that keeping out the Taj Mahal from UP tourism booklet was a necessary step. He justified his points saying the present Uttar Pradesh government is rashtravadi (nationalist) and runs on dharma niti (religious policy), reported TOI. Taj Mahal is not a symbol of any religion and it is nobody’s, Chaudhary was reported as saying at an event organized by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Gorakhnath peeth “represents people’s faith” while the UNESCO heritage site doesn’t signify any religion, he said. On being told that Taj Mahal was hailed as one of the wonders of the world, he said that persons who included the 17th-century monument in the list must have a similar taste as people of the ones who built it.
A controversy was raked over non-inclusion of the Taj Mahal in a tourism booklet titled “Uttar Pradesh Tourism: Its High Potential.” The booklet was released to mark six months of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in UP. CM Adityanath has earlier told that it is an integral part of our heritage. The entire matter was the ‘handiwork of vested interests’, he had said.
“Just because the Taj was not mentioned it doesn’t mean it is being ignored. The government has already allocated funds for its conservation,” TOI quoted Adityanath as saying.