From Idiocy to Lunacy
The demand for putting Taj Mahal under the custody of Uttar Pradesh Wakf Board is not only unwarranted, but utterly ridiculous. Rabble-rousing Wakf Minister, Azam Khan never known for any sane and sagacious statements, has not applied any forethought. Going by the level of corruption inside Wakf Boards, regardless of the states they are in, no guarantee could be given for Taj Mahal remaining safe and secure in their hands and under their management. The minister is merely playing to the gallery.
In the first instance, Tah Mahal does not become a pious property as is needed under the Wakf laws. It is national property and does not belong to any community. In fact, Islam does not approve of raising edifices over graves. So in essence, Taj Mahal represents the wonderful heritage of rulers who professed the faith of Islam although they deviated from its practices. It was built by a former emperor of Hindustan—as it existed then—for the internment of his queen. (Let us be reminded that Mumtaz Mahal died in Burhanpur and her remains were later transferred to Agra to be interred into the mausoleum.) It is not a mausoleum of a saint, sufi, pir or fakir. Secondly, it was raised out of national resources. Historical records say, in part, the reason for building this grandiose monument was to help provide the people employment in a region perpetually afflicted with near-famine conditions. Third, the workforce must have involved more Hindus than Muslims. It is therefore absolutely appropriate that Archeological Survey of India looks after its upkeep and revenue proceeds—which in any case must be less than what the Government of India spends on its administration—should go to national kitty.
Riddled with corruption, nepotism, encroachments, illegal occupations of vast chunks of properties, Wakf Boards do not measure up to the challenge of administering a property of Taj Mahal’s proportions and matchless aesthetics. Azam Khan therefore must resist the temptation to stretch idiocy to lunacy.