For more than two centuries, the Mughals ruled over vast swathes of India. They left behind a legacy spanning from great work of art to architecture as iconic as the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Yet, in the last few years, there seems to be a concerted effort to erase the Mughals from India’s textbooks. Outside of the curriculum, BJP leaders have regularly attacked the historicity and importance of the Taj Mahal. Here is a list of both such efforts:
Maharashtra State Education Board
Class VII textbook omits a large section of text regarding the Mughals and Islamic rulers before them. Textbook instead keeps Shivaji as the focal point of medieval Indian History.
In one of its board of studies meeting, the history department of Rajasthan University pointed out that “students need to know the latest research on Maharana Pratap and the Battle of Haldighati so they can get acquainted with various versions of the outcome of the battle.” Rashtra Ratna Maharana Pratap by Chandra Shekhar Sharma that declares Pratap as the winner at Haldighati is mentioned in the list of recommended readings for the subject.
Shiksha Sanskriti Utahan Nyas
The RSS-affiliated organization headed by Dinanath Batra has sent recommendations to the NCERT for the removal of ‘offensive' portions from its books; sections like: The rulers had an extremely liberal policy towards people. All Mughal rulers gave grants for the construction and maintenance of places of worship. Even when the temples were destroyed during battles, grants for their repair work were released later.
Portions of the Taj Mahal was part of an ancient temple called Tejo Malaya, according to Lakshmikant Bajpayee, former state President of BJP Uttar Pradesh. He went on to claim that Taj Mahal was part of a palace owned by Jai Singh from whom Shah Jahan had bought the land when he decided to build the Taj. The temple was a part of the portion Shah Jahan bought from Jai Singh.
BJP MLA Sangeet Som called the Taj Mahal "a blot on Indian culture" and a monument "built by traitors", prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to clarify it's part of "our proud heritage”. "Many people were disappointed that the Taj Mahal was removed from UP tourism booklet. What history are we talking about? The creator of Taj Mahal (Shahjahan) imprisoned his father. He wanted to wipe out Hindus. If these people are part of our history, then it is very sad and we will change this history," said Som.