Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation vandalise west gate of the Taj Mahal
The west gate of the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous mausoleum and a United Nations World Heritage site, was vandalised by Hindutva right-wing activists. Social media is up in arms.
Indian Police Service(IPS) officer @sanjivbhatt tweeted: “VHP workers vandalise western gate of Taj Mahal. Congratulations, India! Well deserved!”
According to and The Indian Express, the activists who belonged to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) an Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation based on the ideology of Hindutva, “arrived with hammers and iron rods…”.
Indian weekly, National Herald reported that the activists: “…tried to remove the turnstile gate installed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).”
@NH_India tweeted: “Shocking media reports say that Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers created a ruckus and vandalised the western entrance to the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, in protest against ASI allegedly blocking the pathway to the Siddheshwar Mahadev temple. #TajMahal”
Many took to Twitter to slam the bhakts (Indian Hindutva right-wing ideologists) and the current Indian administration. Tweep @aslammev wrote: “Not surprised by this event at Taj Mahal. Question is what was Agra police doing? Or they were ordered to remain silent by ruling party? Without support of political top brass this could not have happened. So 2019 is fast approaching.”
Others couldn’t understand the logic in trying to ruin a world heritage @rubenkar67: “Let’s be sensible and show some sensitivity to a world heritage. An inspiration for global travellers and pride of India…”
Twitter users like @MartianTutu slammed the VHP’s contribution to India. He tweeted: “They made nothing but destroyed everything. It is their history sheet.”
Tweep @cr7akhtar highlighted the sad situation of India’s socio-political situation. He wrote: “Atul kochhar… your remark on Quantico was wrong… VHP terrorist vandalised the gate of Taj Mahal today, they lynch a man in broad daylight, they stab a child in train nd still ur saying saffron terrorist doesn’t exist.”
@mallucomrade added: “Why this furore over the destruction of an ASI installed Taj Mahal gate? The party ruling over us destroyed a 400-year-old mosque and unleashed terror all over the country! And that’s how they came into power. Won’t be shocked if they were to destroy the Taj Mahal too.”
@TheBenno70 shared another news report: “After Taj Mahal west gate vandalised by VHP members, BJP MLA says – ‘give it Indian identity’.”
According to Indian newspaper, Financial Express: “BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) MLA Surendra Singh from Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday reiterated his demand to rename the white mausoleum to give it an Indian identity … suggested the monument should be renamed as ‘Ram Mahal’ or ‘Krishna Mahal’.”
@DrSeijo wrote: “I believe they will demolish Taj Mahal … as they can’t see the temple from that side properly. Religious extremism is the most dangerous phenomenon prevailing and exploited for personal gains. The new tool for politicos.”
Reportedly, by the time the security forces engaged in the security of the Taj complex could comprehend what was happening, the protestors had already damaged the entrance. Given the seriousness of the incident, the Archaeology Department complained to the local police, after which the local administration has registered a case against 4 to 5 unknown persons in the case and the administration has spoken of taking strong action in this matter.
Apparently the ASI is installing a secure access for tourists from the western entrance to see the Taj, due to which the gate has been temporarily shut and an alternative path has been opened to the temple from behind the Taj Mahal. However, despite these explanations, the activists of the rightwing organisation tried to uproot the gate.