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BJP Backs Sangeet Som on Taj Mahal Row, Says Muslim Rule Was 'Barbaric'

The BJP's reaction came after Sangeet Som, its MLA from Uttar Pradesh, questioned the Taj Mahal's place in history and said the presence of Mughals in India's history is "unfortunate".

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Updated:October 16, 2017, 6:52 PM IST
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BJP Backs Sangeet Som on Taj Mahal Row, Says Muslim Rule Was 'Barbaric'
File photo of BJP’s Sardhana MLA Sangeet Som.
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New Delhi: The BJP on Monday described Muslim rule in India as "barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance", while asserting that its members can hold any opinion they want on specific monuments.

The BJP's reaction came after Sangeet Som, its MLA from Uttar Pradesh, questioned the Taj Mahal's place in history and said the presence of Mughals in India's history is "unfortunate".

Asked about the BJP's stand on Som's comments on the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the party does not have any view on specific monuments and its members can hold whatever opinion they have.

"But as far as the Muslim, Mughal rule in this country is concerned, that period can only be described as exploitative, barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance which harmed Indian civilisation and traditions immensely," he told PTI.

Rao also lashed out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi after the latter attacked the BJP over Som's comments. Responding to Som's comments, Owaisi asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the Taj Mahal.

"Even in the present times, Mulim leaders such as Owaisi exhibit the same level of intolerance as Muslim rulers once displayed," Rao said, in response to Owaisi's remarks.

During a visit to Meerut district, Sangeet Som, the legislator from Sardhana, had also termed Mughal emperors Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb "traitors" and said their names would be removed from the pages of history.

In comments that come soon after the Yogi Adityanath government reportedly left out the Taj Mahal from an official tourism booklet, Som said, "Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places (tourist destinations). What type of history?

"Is this history that the person who built the Taj Mahal imprisoned his father? Do you call it history when the one who built the Taj targeted many Hindus in Uttar Pradesh and Hindustan?"

Som is not new to controversy, often making the headlines for his provocative statements and actions on issues such as the Dadri lynching and the Muzaffarnagar riots.
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