MSM Fake News Monitor: Times of India on Taj Mahal

Times of India, Lutyens’ Media, Fake News, Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh Paryatan Apar Sambhavnayen, Yogi Adityanath, Hindutva, Ayodhya, Naimisharanya, Chitrakoot, Sonbhadra
Indian temples are no less magnificent than a mausoleum, Taj Mahal

(Facebook has set out 10 tools to check Fake News. A few give-aways are headlines, source, evidence and photos. Times of India in today's edition has been found out in peddling a Fake News).

Times of India today published a Front Page anchor: “Controversy erupts over absence of Taj Mahal from UP tourism booklet.”

The news report, which stretched from Front Page to inside pages and had a few other screaming headlines in between the sheets, is so bogus that I wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up but for the propagandists running away with the Fake News and Social Media full of “communal” Yogi Adityanath and his nefarious designs to push the Hindutva agenda.

I won’t bore you much but here are the facts:

(a) UP government has published a tourism booklet, “Uttar Pradesh Paryatan Apar Sambhavnayen (Uttar Pradesh Tourism: It’s High Potential)” which has mentioned ongoing projects and Taj Mahal doesn’t find a mention in it.

(b) The booklet has mentioned ongoing toruism projects such as ones in Varanasi, Mathura, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Devipatan, Naimisharanya, Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Kushinagar, Bundelkhand, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.

(c) The UP government has also added that indeed a World Bank-assisted Rs. 156-crore development project on Taj Mahal is due and would begin as soon as the Centre’s clearance is secured.

But the Fake News perpetrators and propagandists would have none of it. The fact that Taj Mahal doesn’t find a mention since the booklet is strictly about ongoing projects hasn’t cut any ice with them.

There is no gainsaying by Times of India that it has presented viewpoints of both sides. This story in itself is a non-starter. Tending a sick child in the family isn’t a neglect of the other child. If at all, the UP government deserves praise for maximizing the potential of tourism in the state. And reserving Rs 156 crores for Taj Mahal is better than all those secularist frauds could ever manage.

Thus you have all the jokers lining up and doing their acts. There is Brinda Karat, Raj Babbar, Abhishek Sanghvi and Rajeev Shukla, among others, who are horrified at this “communal” designs on Taj Mahal and how Hindutva is tearing the secular fabric of this country apart.

Times of India, for good measure, remembered Yogi Adityanath having said a few months ago that “foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of Taj Mahal, which did not reflect Indian culture.”

And frankly, why there shouldn’t be a word about Taj Mahal? A mausoleum created by an emperor who married his departed queen’s sister as soon as she was dead? I agree this is unrelated as is the fact that thousands of workers were dismembered once the mausoleum was done. There is little doubt that Taj Mahal is beautiful to behold at. But should it stop us from praising our magnificent temples? Does promoting our stunning heritage is a sign of communalism?

The propagandists don’t realize that running down India’s magnificent heritage isn’t palatable to majority in this country. Time is not far when this majority would come out and say; “To hell, with your secularism.”

Hindus have suffered for over a thousand years now. In the past they were ravaged by Muslim invaders and British imperialists. In independent India, it was the turn of modern rulers. Now Hindus are coming out of their slumber. All those who only wish ill of them would be chased down to the end of this world. 

More by Ashish Shukla