After dropping Taj Mahal from the booklet of UP Tourism, the state government has reacted to it to clear the air on the matter. In a series of tweets, the Yogi government said that UP tourism has already proposed Rs 156 crore plan for development of the Taj Mahal and areas related to the monument.

“The entire proposal has been made after consultations with World Bank,” UP government added in another tweet. Moreover, the UP government said that the proposal has been sent to Centre for approval and acceptance.

The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world that draws millions of tourists to the country, has been dropped from the list of tourist destinations that was published by the government of Uttar Pradesh. The new booklet issued by UP Government removed Taj Mahal and instead carried the name of temples from Mathura, Ayodhya and Gorakhpur in the list along with Ganga arti locations.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently criticized the custom of gifting Taj Mahal to foreign dignitaries as it doesn’t represent the 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 had said to a leading daily.

Earlier too, the Yogi government neglected the World Heritage site by not including it in the special section ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (Our Cultural Heritage) of the annual budget for 2017-2018.

Opposition leaders said the new brochure proves the UP government discriminates against Muslims and attempts to blank out any part of India’s cultural heritage that is not Hindu. “The exclusion of the Taj Mahal shows the mindset of the BJP government,” said Rajendra Chaudhary of the Samajwadi Party which was crushed in the March election by the BJP. “The monument has no connection with caste and community,” he said, stating it must be preserved and valued as a national treasure.

Commenting on the Taj Mahal row CPM’s Brinda Karat said, “The UP Govt wants to do away with history itself.”

First Published | 2 October 2017 9:16 PM
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