Q: There is so much of controversy over the Taj Mahal. Why is it happening? As a Christian, how do you see the Taj Mahal?
A: Extreme fundamen-talist ministers would always want to keep some controversy alive. Basically, there is an anti-minority and anti-Muslim mindset prevalent now. The Taj Mahal is a symbol of the era of Muslim prosperity. After the Babri Masjid, they want to take up another controversy. No sensible man can accept the rubbish they are saying about the Taj Mahal. Although basically Yogi Adityanath has the same view, he is now trying to slightly change his version. When BJP MP Sangeet Som spoke about Taj Mahal as a blot on Indian culture, he said that it was built by the sweat and blood of the sons of India. UP tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi also distanced her-self from Sangeet Som adding that it was his personal view. Although different leaders of RSS and BJP speak with slight variance, they all have one view on the subject. These controversial statements are aimed at diverting attention from the real issues of development and health care. The government is not providing basic amenities like electricity, drinking water etc. The promises made by the central and state governments remain unfulfilled. For me, the Taj Mahal is a master piece and a world heritage monument, and in that sense it is universal. You cannot say a thing should be rejected because it was made by the Mughals. This architectural wonder is to be appreciated irrespective of who you are and which religion you belong to. This issue shows how narrow-minded right wing politicians are.
Bp Gerald Mathias