NEW DELHI: Taj Mahal has been an eye sore for many extremists in India who have been making false claim that this is not a Mausoleum but a Hindu temple. Such funny theories got a boost recently when Central Information Commission (CIC) asked the Department of Tourism, Government of India, in a case of an RTI application to explain whether Taj Mahal is a Mausoleum or a Hindu temple.
A certain Mr. B.K.S Ayengar filed an RTI application and asked multiple questions which are under the influence of distorted and corrupted historical versions of Taj Mahal by fundamentalists and ultra-extremist elements.
The applicant asked the Archaeological Survey of India:
1.Whether this wonderful marble structured building and surrounding complex in Agra is Taj Mahal or Teju Mahalaya?
2.Whether it was constructed by Shah Jahan or gifted by Raja Man Singh?
CPIO of Archaeological Survey Of India replied that they do not have any record or evidence to the questions asked and refused some information on safety and security grounds.
The applicant said that since Taj Mahal is a public property and has been declared 7th Wonder of the World, government is spending over it from public exchequer, so the ASI must give answer to such question as whether it is a Mausoleum called Taj Mahal or a Hindu Temple called Tejo Mahalaya. The applicant sought authentic version from ASI.
Although through RTI, any information as available must be provided to the applicant. However the answer of ASI suggests that applicant used this RTI application not for seeking information, but as a tool to research and investigate a controversial theory prevalent among a section of public about Taj Mahal.
The applicant also tried to use RTI to unreasonably ask ASI to open the locked rooms, bring out hidden materials and do excavation underneath the Taj-Mahal, which is a protected National Heritage Complex.
RTI cannot be used for collection of so called evidence to support distorted versions of history. But in this case, it is revealed that some elements are active to seek such actions through RTI and other legal tools.
Taj Mahal was declared as a national protected Monument in 1958 by following due procedure of law. Public objections and suggestions were invited by the then government before declaration.
People like P.N.Oak were alive then, and they filed their objections to declare TAJ MAHAL as National Protected Monument. They objected that Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple and not a Mausoleum. They even submitted what they claimed as evidence for their claims.
P.N Oak, in his book ‘Taj Mahal: The True Story’, claimed that Taj Mahal was a Shiva Temple and a Rajput Palace called Teju Mahalaya, which Shajahan captured & turned into Taj Mahal.
Such distorted versions of history are being raised today through RTI and other methods which will bring shame to the national repute globally .