Friday, August 11, 2017

Taj Mahal a Shiva Temple? Yes, an RTI Plea Asks ASI Exactly That.

The Quint: PTI: New Delhi: Friday, August 11, 2017.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Union Culture Ministry to respond to an RTI plea on whether the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Shahjahan or a Shiva temple gifted to the Mughal emperor by a Rajput king.
The question – forwarded as an alternative narrative of history and the subject of various court cases – which reached the CIC through an RTI plea is now at the Culture Ministry's door.
In a recent order, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said the ministry should put the controversy to rest and clarify doubts about the history of the white marbled mausoleum, considered one of the wonders of the world.
Acharyulu recommended that the ministry give information on its stand on the cases related to the provenance of the Taj Mahal, and on the frequent claims based on historian PN Oak and advocate Yogesh Saxena's writings.
Oak had written a book “Taj Mahal: The True Story”, arguing that Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva temple built by a Rajput King which was adopted by Shahjahan, he noted.
"Oak, claiming himself to be a historian, not only wrote a book, but also approached the Supreme Court in 2000 to declare Taj Mahal a Shiva temple. However, the Supreme Court reprimanded him for having 'a bee in his bonnet' about the Taj Mahal," the information commissioner said.
The CIC was pulled into the debate after an applicant, BK Ayyangar, approached the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) through an RTI application asking whether the monument in Agra was the Taj Mahal or "Tejo Mahalaya".
Many people say that Taj Mahal is not Taj Mahal and it is Tejo Mahalaya: that this was not constructed by Shahjahan, but was gifted by Raja Maan Singh; hence give the facts as per ASI reports – details with evidences. The ASI told him no such record was available with it.