The Kerala tourism department’s tweet hastening to “salute” Taj Mahal, for “inspiring millions to discover India”, just when the Yogi Adityanath government in UP left out the Mugal-era monument from the UP tourism booklet, has set the country’s tourism and political grapevines abuzz. “God’s Own Country salutes the #TajMahal for inspiring millions to discover India. #incredibleindia”, says Kerala Tourism’s twitter handle. The tweet was shared on the official Facebook page of Kerala Tourism too. Earlier, Taj Mahal’s history and precedents were questioned by Sangeet Som, the BJP MLA from Sardhana, UP. Though Taj had found a place in the recent tourism calendar of UP government, it was missing in the official booklet of UP Tourism. This had stirred up a storm of discussions, on social media and beyond. “Are you talking politics or tourism?” demanded one respondent to the Kerala tourism tweet, while another respondent in the same thread, called it “knockout punch by Kerala tourism”.
What sprinkled spice to the debate was the recent sparks between UP chief minister and the Kerala government. CPI(M)-led government in Kerala had seen red when the UP CM came to Kerala early this month for BJP’s Janaraksha Yatra and found flak with Kerala on its health indices.
From then, Kerala, which takes immense pride in topping the country in health indices, promptly started raining trolls on the BJP leader. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had been quick to tweet that, “it really amuses me that you found time for Kerala, despite the fact the large number of problems exists in UP (as per news paper reports)”.
Vijayan could hardly keep mum, when the Taj controversy cropped up. “Yogi ji ,while you go back to your state, THE ENTIRE KERALA IS UPSET & wants to ask you ? #YEHKYAHAIYOGI Removing #TajMahal from tourist map,” he said.
“It is a state government nominated agency that handles Kerala Tourism’s digital marketing, though it is periodically monitored by the government,” a senior official of Kerala’s tourism ministry told FE. Politics or not, the retweets from Kerala tourism twitter handle have multiplied twenty-fold in 24 hours.
Kerala tourism had been enjoying not-so-modest traffic in its twitter account, but after the Taj salute, its followers have surged to 1.3 million.