Allahabad Excessive Courtroom on Thursday (Could 12) dismissed a petition filed by BJP chief Rajneesh Singh asking for a fact-finding panel to ascertain “the actual Historical past of Taj Mahal”, and for greater than 20 sealed “rooms” to be opened to search for the attainable presence of idols of Hindu gods on the premises of the monument.
A day beforehand, Diya Kumari, the BJP MP from Rajsamand and a member of the erstwhile royal household of Jaipur, had stated that the land on which the Taj stands belonged to her ancestors, and “if there’s a want for any paperwork or something, we are going to present the paperwork if the court docket orders so”.
Over time, a number of BJP leaders have repeated and amplified unhistorical claims that the Taj is actually a Hindu temple that was constructed a lot earlier than the reign of Shah Jahan. In 2017, Vinay Katiyar, who was then a BJP Rajya Sabha member, claimed that the monument was actually a Shiva temple named “Tejo Mahalaya”, which was “initially” constructed by a Hindu ruler.
The “Tejo Mahalaya” declare was first made by a historian named P N Oak in a e-book written in 1989. He made dogged efforts to ascertain his concept, and even petitioned the Supreme Courtroom, which is claimed to have commented in 2000 that he had a “bee in his bonnet”.
The Taj Mahal
Thought-about one of many Wonders of the World and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Website, the Taj Mahal is a worldwide image of India and one of many world’s most recognised monuments. It was constructed between 1632 and 1648 on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
The Taj incorporates traits of Indo-Islamic and Timurid structure, and is commonly seen as a pure development of Mughal structure from older monuments reminiscent of Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.
The immense white marble mausoleum is about in a backyard that’s half of a bigger advanced constructed alongside a collection of geometrical grids enclosed inside partitions that measure 305 metres by 549 metres. The advanced was accomplished in 1653 after constructions reminiscent of a mosque, a visitor home, the primary gateway, and the outer courtyard had been constructed.
The breathtakingly stunning monument is the burial place of Shah Jahan’s beloved spouse Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan himself was subsequently interred there. Though famend as an immortal image of affection, historians have argued that it was presumably extra a monument to Shah Jahan’s ambition than to his love for Mumtaz, and a declaration of the ability and glory of the Mughal empire. “…The Taj Mahal was constructed with posterity in thoughts,” wrote the artwork historian Ebba Koch.
The outside of the mausoleum is adorned with calligraphy of Quranic verses, that are inlaid on rectangular panels. There are minarets on the 4 corners of the platform on which the mausoleum stands.
To the south of the tomb is the backyard that’s divided into quadrants by waterways, which based on Catherine Asher, a historian of Islamic and Indian artwork, resemble the streams of paradise talked about within the Quran. In keeping with Asher, the backyard was modelled on the traditional Persian idea of the backyard of paradise, which the Mughals adopted.
The idea of “Tejo Mahalaya”
P N Oak, the author and founding father of the Institute for Rewriting Indian Historical past, believed that monuments attributed to Muslim rulers had been really Hindu in origin. In 1976, he wrote a e-book known as ‘Lucknow’s Imambaras are Hindu Palaces’, and one other titled ‘Delhi’s Purple Fort is Hindu Lalkot’. In 1996, he printed ‘Islamic Havoc in Indian Historical past’.
Nevertheless it was Oak’s 1989 e-book, ‘Taj Mahal: The True Story’ that continues to form present-day controversies surrounding the Taj Mahal. Oak argued that Shah Jahan’s Taj was actually a Hindu temple to Lord Shiva that was “maybe constructed within the 4th century to function a palace” by one Raja Paramardi Dev.
In keeping with Oak, not solely was the Taj constructed centuries earlier than the arrival of the Mughals, “Our analysis has firmly established that the time period Taj Mahal is a well-liked mispronunciation of the traditional Hindu title Tejomahalaya.”
He theorised that “Tejo Mahalaya” was destroyed and raided throughout Muhammad Ghori’s invasion of India within the late twelfth century, and that after the defeat of Humayun (mid-Sixteenth century) it handed into the fingers of the Jaipur royal household and was managed by Jai Singh I, who was a senior Mughal mansabdar and the Raja of Amber.
In keeping with Oak, the temple was then taken over by Shah Jahan, who turned it right into a tomb and renamed it Taj Mahal.
Oak moved the Supreme Courtroom “to reestablish the reality and cultural heritage of our nation”, however made no headway. A PTI report from 2000 says the court docket dismissed the petition as “misconceived”. “Any person has a bee in his bonnet, therefore this petition,” was the comment of a Division Bench comprising Justices S P Bharucha and Ruma Pal, the PTI report stated.
However Oak’s concept lived on
Lengthy earlier than the Allahabad Excessive Courtroom petitioner Rajneesh Singh, Oak had demanded the opening of the “sealed chambers” of the Taj. “It’s my feeling that some very decisive proof lies hidden in these sealed chambers. They may include Sanskrit inscriptions, Hindu idols, scriptures and cash laying naked the pre-Shahjahan historical past of that constructing,” he wrote.
Singh’s petition within the Excessive Courtroom repeated Oak’s concept, based on a report within the regulation portal Stay Regulation. “It’s there in lots of Historical past books that in 1212 AD, Raja Paramardi Dev had constructed Tejo Mahalaya temple palace (presently Taj Mahal). The temple was later inherited by Raja Maan Singh, the then Maharaja of Jaipur. After him, the property was held and managed by Raja Jai Singh however was annexed by Shah Jahan (in 1632) and later it was transformed into memorial for the spouse of Shah Jahan,” the Stay Regulation report quoted the petition as saying.
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An identical petition had been filed in a district court docket in Agra in 2015. The petitioners had claimed that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple, and thus the federal government ought to enable Hindus to carry out “darshan” and “aarti” within the temple.
Whereas Oak’s concept in regards to the Hindu temple has no historic foundation, some historians have stated that the land on which the Taj stands was certainly initially underneath the management of the Jaipur royals. This piece of land by the Yamuna, throughout the river from the Agra fort which was used (and expanded) by Akbar (and by different dynasties earlier than the Mughals), was requisitioned from Jai Singh, who was duly compensated by Shah Jahan.