The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh was ridiculed on social media on Tuesday after its tourism department published a booklet that didn’t include the Taj Mahal in the list of tourism destinations in the state. The booklet includes the Gorakhnath Temple, whose head priest is Adityanath, apart from another Gorakhpur temple.
Washington Post, BBC and several other media outlets reported the story on Tuesday. “Is India neglecting its iconic Taj Mahal because it was built by Muslims?” wrote the Post. It reported that Adityanath had said a couple of month back how Taj Mahal “does not reflect the Indian culture”, and that the UP government had not allocated any heritage funds for its upkeep.
Eventually, state Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who released the booklet, clarified that the state government had allocated funds for the monument, which is among the seven wonders of the world.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi called the Adityanath government “useless”, stating how the 19th century Hindi writer, Bharatendu, had written about such rule as “andher nagari, chaupat raja (useless ruler of a town plunged into darkness)”.