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Taj Mahal celebrates Urs amidst protest, plea!

The Taj Mahal built on the foundation of love and yearning to reunite Emperor Shah Jahan with his consort, Mumtaz Mahal now witnesses disparity between two very closely knit religions: Hinduism and Islam!
Last Friday, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) filed a petition against the celebration of Urs within the premises of the Taj Mahal.
‘Urs’ is a 3-day festival observed in the remembrance of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and his beloved Mumtaz! It has been celebrated within the premises of the Taj Mahal, this being the 434th.

The Celebration & protest
The Urs is being organized in Taj Mahal from 6-8th February at the Dargah located at the East Gate of Taj Mahal. Entry will be free in the afternoon on February 7th and throughout the day on February 8th.
Protesting against it, ABHM performed ‘Jalabhishek’ today in Agra, states the AmarUjala.
The celebration includes the rituals of ‘chadar poshi’, ‘sandal’, ‘gusul’, ‘kul’ and more.

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The debate!
Agra historian Raj Kishore Raje has filed an RTI asking ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) “Whether it is allowed to celebrate Urs and do namaz within the premises of Taj?”
The ASI commented that there is nowhere mentioned the reference to permission granted for URS celebration within the Taj campus. Neither at the time of Shahjahan nor during the reign of the Britishers.

The petition!
This led to the signing of a petition against the Urs celebration – the petition filed by ABHM through Meena Diwakar and Saurabh Sharma, the Head of ‘Mahila morcha Mandal’ and District Head respectively.
The petition also included the prohibition of ‘free entry’ into the Taj Mahal during Urs.
All this led to a rift between the two emotively connected communities Hindus and Muslims!
Muslims celebrate Urs to commemorate the death of a ‘Sufi saint’, one such is celebrated in the Taj Mahal.

What tourists say!
“No celebration should be conducted within the premises of the Taj Mahal. It is one of the Wonders of the World and the prestige of India. Taj represents India as a whole, so no celebration of any of the communities, be it Hindu or Islam should be organized within the premises, expressed a 21-year-old young tourist to TrueToLife this Sunday!
Another man says, “Shahjahan was the one to get the Taj Mahal built and his tomb lays within the Taj, so it is righteous to celebrate Urs in remembrance of his death. Rest will be looked after by the court and judiciary.”
An Entrepreneur, visiting Taj adds, “As the entry is made free for everyone. Tourism would be affected if Urs is banned.”

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Speaking to Tourism Head, Taj Authority
Tourism Head Authority, Mr. Pradeep shared a comment with TrueToLife on Sunday stating, “It is a very complicated case, the matter has already been handed over to the court, so no one will speak on it. Things are under jurisdiction considering the cruciality!”
While Prince Bajpayee, the official Taj Mahal authority, declined to comment to TtL reporter, stating it ‘a very serious topic’.
The court hearing is now rescheduled for March 4th 2024.

Khushi Jain

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