Taj Mahal: The Conspiracy Theories


That is Scorching Mic and I am Nidhi Razdan.

So, once in a while, some loopy conspiracy idea is floated in regards to the iconic Taj Mahal. Final week, the Allahabad Excessive Court docket dismissed a petition filed by a BJP functionary who wished 22 rooms within the Taj Mahal to be opened as much as “see the reality.” This feeds into a protracted held conspiracy idea that the Taj Mahal is definitely a Hindu temple and that the 22 rooms really home the idols of Hindu Gods. Archeological Survey of India officers have maintained that there’s nothing secret in these rooms. They’re simply a part of the construction and usually are not distinctive to the Taj Mahal however a number of Mughal-era mausoleums that had been constructed on the time, together with Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. In truth, the ASI has tweeted pictures of the basement rooms as properly, displaying how they’d restored the decaying lime plaster with ‘earlier than and after’ footage The ASI additionally stated that every one data scrutinized “haven’t pointed to the presence of any idols.” Officers say there are literally greater than 100 rooms or cells within the Taj advanced that the general public doesn’t have entry to for security causes. Conservation work is frequently carried out right here, such because the filling of cracks and re-plastering. Only a day earlier than the Excessive Court docket threw out this plea, BJP MP Diya Kumari claimed that the land on which the Taj Mahal is constructed really belonged to her household, the Jaipur royal household and that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had occupied it. So what are all these claims in regards to the Taj and what do historians need to say about it? Let’s take a better look. Declare primary… the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple.

Now, that is the commonest story that is been floating round your neighborhood WhatsApp group for years now. Hindu right-wing teams and revisionist writers declare that the Taj Mahal was really a Hindu temple named the “Tejo Mahalaya”. Truly, a lot of this comes from a e book written by a person named PN Oak. It is referred to as “Taj Mahal: The True Story.” Oak occurs to be the founding father of the Institute of Rewriting Indian Historical past. Sufficient stated. He claims that the Taj was constructed within the fourth century to function a palace and was accomplished in 1145 A.D. by one Raja Paramardi Dev. Hindutva teams claimed that Shah Jahan transformed the “Tejo Mahalaya” to Taj Mahal within the seventeenth century, the way in which Mughal rulers destroyed Hindu temples and transformed a lot of them into mosques. That is their declare. This declare, nonetheless, has been fully rejected – each by the federal government on the heart in addition to the Archeological Survey of India. In truth, it was the Modi authorities that informed the Lok Sabha in November of 2015 that there was no proof to counsel that the Taj Mahal was once a temple. In 2017, the Archeological Survey of India additionally informed an Agra Court docket that the Taj Mahal is a tomb and never a temple.

Then there’s declare quantity two that Shah Jahan occupied land belonging to the Jaipur royals. Now that is BJP MP Diya Kumari’s declare that the land on which the Taj Mahal stands really belonged to her household, the Jaipur royals. She claimed that she had the paperwork to show it and that the household didn’t get any compensation in return. Slamming the MP for half truths, historian Rana Safvi shared copies of ‘farmans’ or royal orders from Shah Jahan to Raja Jai Singh, on Twitter and wrote that 4 havelis in truth got to Jai Singh in trade for the land for the Taj Mahal. She shared copies of the ‘farmans’ from the e book that was titled ‘Taj Mahal – The Illumined Tomb’, edited by WE Begley and ZA Desai. And he or she stated that Raja Jai Singh was prepared to donate the land without spending a dime really, however 4 havelis got in lieu of Raja Man Singh’s haveli by Shah Jahan. In an interview with Outlook journal, historian Ira Mukhoty, writer of the e book, ‘Akbar: The Nice Mughal’, echoed Safvi and identified that Mughals and Jaipur royals had been shut since Akbar married Harkha Bai of Amber. In one other twist, Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy, who claims to be the descendant of Mughals, problem Diya Kumari’s declare. He talked in regards to the observe of gifting land by the Rajputs to the Mughals calling Diya Kumari’s allegations of land grabbing “baseless.” He stated that the Rajputs had made alliances with the Mughals beginning in Akbar’s reign, and added that “14 out of my 27 grandmothers had been Rajputs.” Then there’s declare quantity three… that Shah Jahan chopped off the fingers of those that constructed the Taj Mahal. Now, that is an outdated city delusion that has been perpetuated repeatedly. The story goes that the emperor ordered his troopers to chop off the fingers of over 40,000 masons in order that they might by no means replicate the marvel.

Historians, nonetheless, have fully debunked this delusion. There was a narrative within the Instances of India wanting on the myths surrounding the Taj again in 2017, which famous {that a} huge settlement referred to as the Taj Ganj nonetheless exists as we speak. It was arrange by emperor Shah Jahan to deal with the hundreds of masons, artisans and different employees and their descendants who nonetheless stay and work there. And the story identified that after ending work on the Taj, Shah Jahan’s employees additionally constructed for him an entire new imperial metropolis referred to as Shahjahanabad in Delhi. So if he had really chopped off everybody’s fingers, he couldn’t have constructed a brand new metropolis so shortly, and it might have been close to unattainable for him to seek out so many individuals, so many replacements, really, to work on one other equally grand undertaking in such a short while. This is not the primary time that weird conspiracy theories in regards to the Taj Mahal have come up, and it in all probability is not going to be the final. What needs to be a monument of delight for all Indians has additionally become a communal soccer for some which all of us need to push again in opposition to in any respect prices.

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