December 15, 2008

Bloggers unearth the fake Taj Mahal scam in Bangladesh

Global Voices has the full details:

Bibortonbadi, another blogger who visited the site was also very upset at falling prey to yellow journalism; he wrote in his blog [bn]:
There's nothing worth seeing. The so-called replica of the brilliant Taj has been made with colored tiles. I had read so many things in the newspapers - 400crores of Taka, valuable marble and tiles from Italy, 172 diamonds from Belgium, 160kgs of bronze on the dome…where is all of that? Is 400crores Taka such a little thing? Local tiles on a plain and simple brick structure…even the tiling work is that of an amateur…the structure is still incomplete. Even if after all this they want to put Italian marble where will they put it? All the visitors were upset and were feeling cheated. …After 10minutes we realised that there was nothing to see inside. We left. On the way back we spoke to other visitors and there was only one word going around — "what a scam!"

Blogger Raihan called up the newsdesk of a leading Bangla daily Prothom Alo , who had also published the "Taj" article complete with details of lavishness, and questioned them whether their reporter had physically visited the site before publishing the article and if not, how they could publish an article without first verifying the facts themselves. He says that in response the newsdesk informed him that they had merely reported the AFP article. After he alerted the person on the line about the facts, he was told that they would surely send a reporter to visit the site and write another article on the same.

With Bangladeshi bloggers uploading their first-hand experience of visiting the site through posts, pictures and videos, it is only now we are getting the real picture of the "fake Taj" story.


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