Again Taj Mahal is in the news. Some un-known environment-lists warriors have done some study to protect the stones and their colours. In this nation stones are more important than the lives and livelihood of citizens. They have given many suggestions for the protection of stones but are least concerned about the lively-hood and employment of the citizens of the country.
Earlier secular historians made it a monument of love. But if life of Mumtaz Mahal is studied carefully and impartially, she could not get any love from her husband, emperor Shahjahan. She was like one of the many wives, the king had, apart from thousands in his heram( private brothel).
A close study of the birth of feminism—woman’s voice against injustice and inequality—tends to divulge the reality that feminism is the result of the culture or society formed and ruled by men to suit their demands, interests, whims and fancies regardless of women’s need and happiness. Shahjahan did the same.
I decided to visit to the Taj Mahal. There I tried to see that building from all the angles, standing at the gate of the so called seventh wonder of the world — the Taj Mahal. It was dawn and the visitors and tourists were started arriving the place. It appeared akin to an odd time to meet a celebrity here, but nothing about this jaunt had been anticipated…all views of the past and the future were being brushed away as I stood at the Taj Mahal gazing up at the tomb made in memory of a woman.
Unfortunately, this was not the only and will not be surely the last case of sub-human and maltreatment of a woman but glorified nation wide.
I reached there a little early, thinking I might get inside and look around on my own will before the great mazar but the Taj Mahal authorities wasted precious time in opening the monument.. But once I reached there, I realized how imprudent I was to believe I could rightly see anything about such a so fabulous a mazar in such a short period of time. I was eager to reach there and there would be enough time to come back to travel around this so called amazing architectural work of brilliance, more fully. In the meantime I roamed around the outside of the gravestone, my head back and my mouth amazed as I could not see any thing amazing.
As a nation, Indians choose to not only ignore but also glorified and connived in the perpetration of crime against woman.
I was simply surprised to see the size of the compound. Nothing in any of the photo or book I had never seen this information about the sheer size of the structure, the huge dome, the typical Islamic style symmetry and the surprising big area. The setting sun made the colour of these white shining walls of white stones and granite appear swing and dance.
As I moved nearer, I could observe that the exterior surface were covered in obscure stone carvings and subtle calligraphy that was touching almost a 100 feet skyward. Expensive gems and stones embellished the white stone: I could glimpse bits of turquoise, lapis lazuli, emerald, red coral etc. I walked all round of the building, moving nearer to scan the much talked wonderful niceties and then stepping back to take in the hard to believe splendor.
I walked around the Taj Mahal and observed it from all the angles but could not see any thing or beauty which could astonish me at that moment, I was almost frustrated and almost cried, why I was there? I came there to see those talismans which I listened about the Taj Mahal. This was perhaps the so called most beautiful building in the country, I nodded, still in a fog of shock, bewilderment and dis-belief.
In this case we do not care to challenge the stereotype of ‘love’ or ‘devoted good woman’ propaganda by eminent historians, scholars and fringe groups. Led by ‘biased and fixed’ and apparently immunized in favour of pervasive social malpractices, our political class also rave and rant it as a ‘love symbol’.
Mascot of Beauty and Love
While visiting the Taj, there is the long flower-and-tree-decked and lined paths which were almost on the banks of small, reflecting small pools. Entrance has high and big archways and connected down the stone steps. The water in the pools was almost dirty or polluted.
Outside shopkeepers can be seen selling the tiny marble replica of the Taj Mahal on exorbitant rates. There was no message, price tag or note of any sort. One side of Taj Mahal is encroached by slum type un-systematic colonies.
This last mascot is all about legacy of a stylish and debase. The scriptures say that the best way to assess someone’s greatness is to glance at the power of that person’s sway on the generation that will follow. So if we are truly engrossed in expanding into rare air as honest, impartial human beings, instead of ‘what’s in it for me or any fixed or biased historians?’ we should be probing ‘what’s in it for the world or nation or people?’ Is it a perfect symbol of legacy, or a false mascot created by biased and fixed historians?.”
The answer is that biased and fixed historians made it a monument of love but fake. Actually it was not love but repression of a woman in worst manner.
Monument Of Love
I looked back at the peculiar construction. It was gleaming white turned light yellow, shining as if it were itself a glittering star. “Any body can see that and it is said that this edifice has stirred and influenced so many romantics from so many places, for hundreds of years. It is almost unbelievable. This monument is not the work of one man. That it was built in one lifetime and thousands of artisans were involved in it, those almost sacrificed their lives for this mausoleum.”
There is no doubt about the attraction of Taj. This is amazing work of art and structural design specially in size. It was built by Shah Jahan, the Moghul emperor in the early 1600. His wife, he called Mumtaz Mahal, or Jewel of the Palace. He adored her, and she him, although the emperor has many other wives and thousands in his private Harem.
Mumtaz Mahal died while given birth to her fourteenth child, during their sixteen years of married life. Amazing love !
Here woman is viewed as ‘Man’s Other’ rather than as free human being with her own human rights and wishes, animates the so called love of Shahjahan. This is not love but repression and abuse.
It is described by the historians that Shah Jahan was devastated by her death. After a year of bereavement in reclusion and refusing worldly pleasures, he firmly spend his life honoring his words given to his dead wife’s by constructing her mazar or resting place that would be known as a monument of love on earth.
Almost for a year her body remained buried in south India. After a year her body was again exhumed and brought to Agra and again in Agra it remained buried for six moth at another place and after that she was buried in this place called the Taj Mahal. And every year, millions of people come to see what Shah Jahan constructed for the love of his life. But even in death Mumtaz Mahal was disgraced for the whims of her husband.
A Monument of Trouble
It is more than enough to see the Taj Mahal once. Actually it has only graves and revered now, as mazar or dargaha. Basically the area was graveyard on which Mugual king Shahjahan and his wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal are buried. He killed large number of people, including his own four brothers and kept their wives in his Heram (private brothel).
Taj Mahal is an irritation and source of tension to the industries of central and western Utter Pradesh. Large number of factories and industries were forced to shut down in these areas, specially in Agra, Mathura, Hathras, Kasganj, Etawaha, Firozabad, Aligarh, Khurja, etc., places, to protect the stone and the shining of the stones. As a result of this act lakhs of workers became jobless and workless. This act snatched the livelihood of lakhs of families. Thousand of people committed suicide due to unemployment poverty and hunger and thousands plunged in the dark lanes of crime.
Their fear and pain, “Being crushed, ” they were never became normal and strong again. As a real feminist and humanist, their love for life, mankind could never blossom.
Due to these forced closer of industries of factories large number of family had to suffer very badly and in this mass suffering, women were the worst sufferer.
Due to this burden of Taj Mahal, now West UP is known as Wild West UP. This is the great love act for this love monument by environmentalists and civil society people.
History repeats itself. During and after the construction of Taj Mahal thousands of construction workers and artisans were brutally oppressed and tortured. Some historians say that the hands of workers and artisans were even cut off. Suffering of the women of their families must have beyond all imagination.
These acts, fierce both in hatred and oppression, expresses the depth, complexity and multiplicity of feminism.
Noted historian P.L.Oak has different research. He found out that Shahjahan razed a grand Shiva Temple, Tojo Mahal for the construction of Taj Mahal.
Now different Muslim sects are claiming over the right of the building of Taj Mahal and its land due to exorbitant income, it earns.
The moment of Mumtaz Mahal ‘s death becomes just like any other moment of her life and her last words of so called love clinch her feminist appeal. Love and acceptance of both life and death is a way produces pathos, pain and suppression at the fate of Mumtaz Mahal which could not rebel against masculine tyranny.
Nation needs a big reform agenda to be taken to be taken up if we want to clean our society of abuses against women.