UP BJP legislator Sangeet Som has found an unlikely ally in Samajwadi Party (SP) gadfly Azam Khan, who on Tuesday called for the destruction of “all reminders of slavery” like the Taj Mahal and Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“We should destroy all reminders of slavery that reek of those who once ruled over us. I’ve said this before too. Parliament, Qutab Minar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Red Fort, Agra’s Taj Mahal…all of it,” said Khan, a former UP minister.
It was unclear if Khan was being sarcastic or serious.
The BJP’s Som said something similar a day earlier, in addition to calling Mughal emperors Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb “traitors”.
Som said that if people like Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, “who tried to wipe out Hindus”, are seen as part of India’s heritage and history then “we will change that history”.
Touching on the recent dropping of the Taj Mahal from a State list of Uttar Pradesh’s historical sites, Som wondered why “people like the man who built it” should be considered part of Indian culture and heritage.
“Many were sad when the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of historical places. What kind of history? What place’s history? Whose history? The history that the man who built the Taj Mahal imprisoned his father? The history that he wanted to wipe out the Hindus from all of Uttar Pradesh and India?” asked Som.
Several opposition politicians, including an SP spokeswoman, slammed Som for his remarks.
The AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi had a stinging response for the BJP MLA – “Traitors also built the Red Fort, will Modi stop hoisting Tiranga (tricolour) (from there)”?
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wondered if people looked forward to Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on Independence Day from New Delhi’s Nehru Stadium instead of from the ramparts of the Red Fort.