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Javed Akhtar laments UP legislator's 'monumental' ignorance of history

Will someone give him any history book that is taught in the sixth standard, the writer-poet tweeted.


Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar lashed out at Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator Sangeet Som's "ignorance of history" for calling the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the modern world, "a blot on Indian culture".

In a video which surfaced and went viral on social media on Wednesday, Som addressed a gathering where he called the Taj Mahal "a blot on Indian culture" and said "it was built by an emperor who wanted to finish off Hindus".

Akhtar tweeted on Wednesday: "Sangeet Som's ignorance of history is really monumental. Will someone give him any history book that is taught in the sixth standard? Dr Thomas Roe who had come during Jahangir's era wrote that the average Indian's standard of living was better than the average Englishman's.

"What surprises me is that those who hate Akbar have no problem with [Robert] Clive and those who hate Jahangir never mention [Warren] Hastings. The real plunderers," he added.

The Taj Mahal attracts millions of Indian and foreign tourists every year. In a move to end the controversy, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath said: "We should not focus on Som's statement" in the clearest sign that his government was distancing itself from the MLA's controversial remarks.

Adityanath said the Taj was important for the Uttar Pradesh government, specially "from the tourism perspective", and "it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there". He is scheduled to visit the Taj, Agra fort, Fatehpur Sikri and other important monuments in Agra on 26 October, an official told the IANS news agency.

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