oppn parties The Taj Controversy: Not Right to Disown Culture

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  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
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  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
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  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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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.