Hours after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s visi to Taj Mahal on Thursday, Akhil Bhartiya Itihaas Sankalan Samiti (ABISS) – the history wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has demanded ban on Friday prayers at the Mughal-era monument.
In an interview to India Today, the National Secretary of the ABISS Dr Balmukund Pandey said, “Taj is a national heritage- why allow Muslims to use it as a religious site? Permission to perform namaz at Agra’s Taj Mahal should be withdrawn”. If namaz is allowed then permission to perform Shiva prayers be also granted to Hindus, he added.
Speaking of the theory initially presented by historian PN Oak – a ‘historian’ much respected by the Sangh Parivar, Dr Pandey said, “There is ample evidence that Taj Mahal was a Shiva Temple constructed by a Hindu King. Taj is not a symbol of love, emperor Shah Jahan married within four months of his queen Mumtaz Mahal’a demise. We are collecting evidence and will soon detail every aspect of it. Our organisation is compiling a list all such monuments which were demolished by the Muslim rulers to construct mausoleums or other buildings.”
Last week, members of Hindu Yuva Vahini founded by Yogi Adityanath, have raised another dispute by chanting Shiv Chalisa inside the mausoleum, claiming it to be a Shiva Temple ‘Tejo Mahalay’.
In another incident, BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som had said the Taj Mahal was built by traitors and is a “blot on Indian culture”.
ASI Superintending Archaeologist, Dr Bhuvan Vikram when asked about ASI Act on the same said, “Apart from the established tradition, no religious activity is permitted inside the Taj, and that is the reason why this group was prevented from creating ruckus inside the monument”.