Amid an ongoing row over the Taj Mahal, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-linked organisation has now demanded that Friday prayers at the historic monument located in Agra be banned.
Media reports said on Friday that the demand to ban Friday prayers has come from Akhil Bhartiya Itihaas Sankalan Samiti – the history wing of the RSS.
Dr Balmukund Pandey, the National Organisation Secretary of the organisation, had said that the Taj Mahal is a national heritage so Muslims should not be allowed to use it as a religious site.
Permission to perform ‘namaz’ at the Taj Mahal should be withdrawn, he had said while talking to a TV news channel.
Pandey then went on to say that if ‘namaz’ is allowed then Hindus should also be granted permission to perform Shiva prayers at the Taj Mahal.
Pandey further claimed that his organisation was compiling a list all such monuments which were demolished by the Muslim rulers to construct mausoleums or other buildings.
Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays to facilitate the prayers.
The statement from the RSS leader comes days after some members of the right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini were arrested for reciting ‘Shiv Chalisaa’ inside the Taj premises.
The Yuva Vahini workers also demanded rights to perform prayers, claiming the Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple before it was converted into a mausoleum.
They were later released after they tendered a written apology to the authorities, the reports said.
Akhil Bhartiya Itihaas Sankalan Samiti – the history wing of RSS – is mandated with objective of writing or rewriting the Indian history from a national perspective.