oppn parties The Taj Controversy: Not Right to Disown Culture

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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The Taj Controversy: Not Right to Disown Culture

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The omission of Taj Mahal from the booklet listing tourist attractions in UP, brought out on the occasion of completion of 6 months of the Yogi government, cannot be a “miscommunication”, as explained by state minister Sidharth Nath Singh. It is a deliberate attempt to exclude a World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A clue to this was available when Yogi Adityanath had said sometime back that Taj Mahal did not reflect Indian culture. His government has also stopped giving replicas of the Taj to foreign dignitaries.

What is Indian culture? Is it not an amalgam of the cultures of all communities living in the country? Or is it limited to temple architecture? Is not India enriched by having such diversity? In any case, Yogi Adityanath is not an authority on Indian culture. His government is using the perks of office to impose its views. Obviously, this is just a passing phase.

But segregating heritage sites and monuments according to who built them is a dangerous trend. Going by this, the iconic Howrah Bridge in Kolkata or the Gateway of India should also vanish from lists of attractions in their respective states. Thankfully, not many people in the country think like Adityanath.

It is a disgraceful thing to compartmentalize culture. There is no Muslim architecture or Hindu architecture. All architecture is a reflection of the region from where people come. If people from Central Asia and Middle-East and Europe came and made India their home, they infused their own identity on Indian architecture and culture. Apart from typical minarets on Muslim architecture, India boasts of English, French, Portuguese and Dutch influence in places like Chandannagore, Pondicherry, Goa and Kerala, apart from cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. This bond has resulted in a uniqueness that is totally Indian, an amalgam of the cultures of all people who are Indians or had once ruled over the country.

Hence, the UP government and other BJP governments thinking along these lines would be well advised not to become the authority on deciding what comprises Indian culture. Indian culture is not limited to only Hindu culture. Let us celebrate the diversity of our culture and our people. Let us allow a million flowers to bloom instead of working towards spoiling the garden.