Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government removes the Taj Mahal from tourist guides
The mausoleum is no longer on the list of attractions recommended to tourists. The new brochures show mostly Hindu monuments. The World Heritage Site pays the price for the nationalist policies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Lucknow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Uttar Pradesh’s nationalist government has removed the Taj Mahal from tourist guides and has not allocated funds for its upkeep during the current year.
The Islamic mausoleum, dedicated by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, is among the most famous tourist destinations in the world.
However, it will now pay the price for the new conservative policies of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu guru elected to lead the Indian state last March, who said that the monument, built in 1632, "has no connection with India's culture or heritage".
The famous white marble building in Agra is known throughout the world as India's iconic monument to eternal love, and attracts thousands of tourists. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Sites in 1983.
It is considered a masterpiece of Muslim art in India, and was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
For industry insiders if tourists rely on state guides, they will no longer visit the building. This will have a negative impact on the economy.
Instead of the mausoleum, government literature mentions new attractions. Opposition leaders complain that they are all Hindu. One of them is a temple in Gorakhpur where Chief Minister Adityanath is the main priest.
Omitting the Taj Majal is “a clear religious bias which is completely misplaced,” said Indian National Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi.