Long seen as a symbol associated with India, the Taj Mahal has been in recent news. On Wednesday, the ongoing saga of Taj Mahal being renamed was fanned once again with BJP councillor Shobharam Rathore seeking a debate in Agra’s civic body. His submission seeks to re-christen Taj Mahal as “Tejo Mahalaya.” His contention also claims that Taj Mahal is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit TejoMahalay, signifying a Shiva temple.
Throughout the municipal corporation’s four-and-a-half years in power, the names of more than 80 roads and intersections have been changed. For instance, Azam Khan Marg is now Ashok Singhal Marg, Mughal Road in Kamla Nagar is Maharaja Agrasen Marg and Naubasta Square in Lohamandi is Guru Nanak Dev Chowk.
In its bid to strip names of cities and monuments of their “non-Hindu” epithet, right-wing fringe groups across the country have adopted to renaming the same. Examples range from Allahabad becoming Prayagraj to Maharashtra’s Osmanabad being baptised Dinkar Balu in June. It remains to be seen if the Yogi-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh will play to this demand or let History remain untouched.
It is mention worthy, that in wake of the Gyan Vapi mosque controversy earlier this year in May, Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge in Agra, filed a petition before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court seeking directions to the ASI to probe the 22 closed doors in the Taj Mahal to find out whether idols of Hindu deities are lodged in.
Not only did the court quash the petition, Archaeological Survey Of India’s officials also dubbed the move as “baseless” and “divisive in nature.”