BJP leader wants two Ganesh idols removed from Qutub Minar complex
The National Monuments Authority (NMA) seeks the removal of two Ganesh idols from the 12th century Qutub Minar complex, a World Heritage site and wants them to be moved to a more “respectable” place at the National Museum. According to the NMA chairman, the idols are currently placed in a “disrespectful” manner inside the complex, said a news report in a national daily.
In a written communication sent to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) late last month, the NMA has said that the idols should be given a “respectable” place at the National Museum, where such antiquities are usually on display.
While ASI officials have not commented on the story, the NMA chief Tarun Vijay, who is a BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP, confirmed that the letter was sent. He told The Indian Express that he had visited the site several times and realised that the placement of the idols is disrespectful. “They come near the feet of the mosque visitors,” he said.
The NMA, which comes under the ASI, was established in 2011 to protect and preserve monuments and sites, and areas surrounding it. According to Vijay, the statues of British kings and queens were removed from India Gate after independence and the names of roads have been changed to erase signs of colonialism.
“Now we should work to reverse the cultural genocide that Hindus faced at the hands of Mughal rulers,” asserted Vijay. The two idols are called “Ulta Ganesh” and “Ganesha in cage”, and are located in the compound of Qutub Minar, which is considered to be one of India’s finest monuments.
The “Ulta Ganesh” (upside down) forms part of the south-facing wall of the Quwwat Ul Islam mosque in the complex. The other idol, enclosed in an iron cage, is close to the ground level and is part of the same mosque.
“These idols were taken, apart from those of Jain Tirthankaras and Yamuna, Dashavatar, Navagrahas, after demolishing 27 Jain and Hindu temples built by King Anangpal Tomar… The way these idols have been placed is a mark of contempt for India, and needs correction,” Vijay said, according to the report.