Review: The Taj Conspiracy


In December 1992, a Hindu mob tore down the 16th-century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. It stood, it was claimed, on the site of a demolished Hindu temple. Regardless of one’s views of the various religious and historical traditions, it was an extraordinary act of cultural destruction. And both instigators and perpetrators largely got away with it.

If it worked once, why might it not work again, even when the target is the iconic Taj Mahal? This is the premise of The Taj Conspiracy, a new Indian bestseller by Hong Kong-resident Manreet Someshwar.

Multilingual scholar Mehrunisa Khosa stumbles (almost literally) over a murder in the Taj. Clues left by the victim lead Mehrunisa to discover that the calligraphy on the tomb had been subtly changed to cast into doubt the Taj’s status as the tomb of a Mughal (and hence Muslim) queen.

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