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This Year's Taj Mahotsav Will Celebrate Lord Ram Instead of Mughal Culture

By: Qazi Faraz Ahmad

Edited By: Aditya Nair

News18

Last Updated: February 05, 2018, 12:00 IST

File photo of the Taj Mahal.

File photo of the Taj Mahal.

Justifying the change of theme, BJP leader Vijay Shivhare said, “I want to ask opposition leaders, aren’t they Hindu? Don’t they take Lord Ram’s name when the wake-up? What better way to start a programme than by taking Lord Ram’s name?”

Lucknow: The theme for this year’s Taj Mahotsav will be centred around Lord Ram, rather than India's Mughal heritage.

The organising committee, which has invited Governor Ram Naik and CM Yogi Adityanath to inaugurate the event, has said that the show would begin with a dance-based drama around Lord Ram. The Mahotsav will be held in Shilgram from 18 to 27 February.

Justifying the change of theme, BJP leader Vijay Shivhare said, “I want to ask opposition leaders, aren’t they Hindu? Don’t they take Lord Ram’s name when the wake-up? What better way to start a programme than by taking Lord Ram’s name?”

BJP Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also chipped into the controversy and said, "There are many who question the culture and values of this country. That is why they raise questions. How can one raise questions on this? They don't understand that the country's culture and that values are above politics and religion."

However, SP spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari criticised the move and said that the BJP is trying to divert people’s attention as they have failed to fulfil their promises. “We should not look at it from a communal point of view. Taj Mahal is a global heritage site and people from all over the world have come to see it. People had a lot of expectations with them, but the BJP has failed to deliver. Now, just to divert people from trivial issues, they are playing such games,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has clarified that it has no role to play in organising and deciding the theme for Taj Mahotsav, as it is all done by the organising committee — comprising local administration officials. The government also clarified that the Taj Mahal will not be ignored and the Mahotsav will be held in the backdrop of the historical monument.

The Taj Mahotsav Organising Committee has decided to stage a dance-based drama by Shriram Bharati Kala Kendra on Lord Ram at the opening ceremony on February 18. The next day will hold a folk performance by singer Malini Awasthi. February 20 will be Bollywood Night and Qawwali singer Aslam Sabri will entertain audiences the next day. After that, the headline performance for Day 5 is from Black & White Group of Pune, who will be performing yesteryear songs. A Mushaira will be held on February 23 and a Kavi Sammelan on February 24.

first published:February 05, 2018, 11:51 IST
last updated:February 05, 2018, 12:00 IST