Mughal rulers were plunderers, history will be re-written, says Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Dinesh Sharma made the remarks at a media company's award show. Photograph: (Twitter)
Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister on Tuesday made the controversial statement that Mughals were "plunderers" and not "our ancestors" as depicted in Indian history. He said that "history would be rewritten" and the Uttar Pradesh government was in the process of modifying Mughal history syllabus in schools.
"Mughals were not our ancestors, they were actually plunderers. They looted the country. This is not our history," the Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister said at an award show of a media outlet.
The deputy chief minister, who holds the secondary and higher education portfolios, said the "cruelty of Akbar would not be a part of Indian History" and that his “good side with Birbal” would be included in the syllabus.
He also said that while the Mughal rulers Babur and Aurangzeb harassed people and committed atrocities, their Hindu counterpart Bahadur Shah Zafar was a patriot who started the fight for independence. He also called Shah Jahan "barbaric" for amputating the hands of the artisans who constructing the Taj Mahal.
"The Taj Mahal is an outstanding monument depicting Indian craftsmanship but Shahjahan amputated the hands of artisans who made the Taj. This is not Indian culture and shows he was barbaric. He created a feeling of panic among artisans and engineers who could not gather the courage to build more such monuments."
"Till now Europeans, Turks, Moghuls, French, Chinese and Communists have written Indian history but now the things have changed. A panel of historians will be formed to rewrite history as most of the Indian greats have been shown in a poor light in the past," Dinesh Sharma said.
He added that every religion would be given equal respect in Uttar Pradesh and that the "Pakistani-Talibani culture" would not be accepted.
The deputy chief minister's remarks come about three months after his boss, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that Taj Mahal and other minarets -- monuments made during the medieval and Mughal era -- were not reflective of Indian culture.
The firebrand Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said that foreign dignitaries were now being gifted copies of the Bhagvad Gita and the Ramayana on their visit to India instead of the earlier practice of gifting them a replica of the Taj Mahal "which did not reflect Indian culture".
Yogi Adityanath had made the remarks at a rally in Bihar's Darbhanga on June 15.