Indian Courtroom Rejects Petition to Open Taj Mahal Rooms

A courtroom in India has dismissed a petition by a frontrunner of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Social gathering asking that the Archaeological Survey of India be directed to open 22 sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal, to see if there are Hindu idols there.

The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan within the seventeenth century. Unfounded claims that the Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple have surfaced sporadically through the years principally from some Hindu right-wing teams.

In his petition to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad Excessive Courtroom, Rajneesh Singh, head of media relations for the BJP within the temple metropolis of Ayodhya, claimed “some Hindu teams and respected sants [Hindu ascetics] have been claiming” that the Taj Mahal had beforehand been a Hindu temple devoted to the Hindu god Shiva.

“Later it was transformed into [a] memorial for the spouse of Shah Jahan,” the petition mentioned.

In his petition, Singh additionally mentioned that his principal concern was the sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal.

The rooms that the Hindu teams are looking for to be opened have been sealed by the archaeological company for safety causes just a few a long time in the past, a number of previous statements from archaeological authorities mentioned.

“All of us ought to know what’s there behind these rooms. Please enable me to go to these rooms and do the analysis,” Singh pleaded in his Might 7 petition final week.

On Might 12, whereas dismissing Singh’s petition, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad Excessive Courtroom mentioned that the query was a “non-justiciable problem.”

“The problems lie exterior the courtroom and needs to be achieved by varied methodology and needs to be left with the historians. … It isn’t for the Courtroom to direct what topic must be researched or studied. We’re not capable of entertain such a petition,” the courtroom mentioned.

The claims that the Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple have emerged since Indian author P.N. Oak printed his ebook, Taj Mahal: The True Story, in 1989. In his ebook Oak claimed that it was constructed as a Hindu construction within the twelfth century, lengthy earlier than the Mughals invaded India, and was generally known as Tejo Mahalaya or, the Palace of Lord Shiva.

Hindutva – Hindu nationalist – teams declare Shah Jahan transformed Tejo Mahalaya to Taj Mahal within the seventeenth century, the way in which the Mughal rulers destroyed Hindu temples and transformed a lot of them into mosques.

Hindu teams demand that possession of the Taj Mahal be transferred to Hindus and say they might use it for their very own non secular companies.

In 2017, in an announcement to a courtroom, the archaeological company mentioned the Taj Mahal was certainly a Muslim mausoleum constructed by Shah Jahan, to honor his deceased spouse, Mumtaz Mahal.

Muslim devotees supply a particular morning prayer to start out the Eid al-Fitr competition, which marks the tip of their holy fasting month of Ramadan, contained in the complicated of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Might 3, 2022.

Some main historians mentioned that the declare that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple is ridiculous.

Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi, who teaches medieval historical past at India’s Aligarh Muslim College, mentioned that many present historic paperwork show the Taj Mahal was constructed by Shah Jahan.

“The truth that Shah Jahan constructed this construction is attested to be not solely by the Persian chronicles of the interval, but additionally the journey accounts of a number of European vacationers, and a lot of Rajasthani paperwork [documents from the northern Indian state of Rajasthan],” he mentioned.

“A variety of unique Rajasthani documents- generally known as Arhsatta Imarti [documents related to building construction] and Chitthis [receipts] detailing the Taj Mahal’s constructing supplies, together with Makrana marbles from the mines, their value and the price of transportation are nonetheless there in Bikaner Archives,” Rezavi, generally known as an professional in medieval archaeology and structure, informed VOA, referring to the Rajasthan state archives.

“None ever talked about in any historic doc {that a} temple had ever existed on the website of the Taj Mahal or, that it was demolished,” he mentioned.

Product of white marble, the Taj Mahal was constructed following a typical Persian nine-part plan that had by no means been discovered prior to now in India, Rezavi mentioned.

“You can not present any temple, of any interval made from white marble, surmounted with a dome, and constructed following a noni-partite plan. It’s ridiculous if some name the Taj Mahal a Hindu construction or declare that it was constructed on the website of a razed Hindu temple,” he mentioned.

The conspiracy concept that the Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple is about as cheap because the proposals that the earth is flat and the moon made from cheese, mentioned affiliate professor of South Asian historical past at Rutgers College, Audrey Truschke.

“The development and sponsorship of the Taj Mahal, by a Mughal king, are fairly well-documented from historic sources within the seventeenth century. It’s simply probably the most magnificent in a sequence of Mughal mausoleums throughout northern elements of South Asia,” Truschke informed VOA.

“As far as I can discern, there’s not a coherent concept concerning the Taj Mahal at play right here a lot as a frenzied and fragile nationalist delight that doesn’t enable something non-Hindu to be Indian and calls for to erase Muslim elements of Indian heritage.”

Hindutva iconoclasm needs to be referred to as out for what it’s as these ideologues try to falsify and destroy vital elements of Indian heritage, she mentioned.

The nationwide spokesperson of Vishva Hindu Parishad, the biggest Hindu group within the nation, Vinod Bansal informed VOA Friday that this isn’t a Hindu-Muslim problem in any respect.

“Many need to know what precisely is mendacity inside these rooms that are closed for a very long time. The authorities ought to cooperate, open the doorways and assist them know the reality behind these sealed doorways. The reality needs to be uncovered to the world,” Bansal mentioned.

“The Taj Mahal is a World Heritage Website. No person will trigger any hurt to this monument in no state of affairs,” he mentioned.

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