By MM Special Correspondent,
New Delhi: The New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) hasty decision of renaming Aurangzeb Road after late President APJ Abdul Kalam has triggered a political storm as more and more political parties, groups, and academics are openly coming out against the decision. They also slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for congratulating the NDMC decision and his government for being party to the decision.
CPI (M) termed the move first step towards communalism while JD (U) urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene into the matter as it may open Pandora’s Box. Muslim outfit All India Milli Council asked Delhi CM to withdraw his tweet and study history again.
In a statement on Tuesday, CPI (M) described NDMC’s decision as “first step in a campaign to rename historical places and roads on communal grounds. The recent road renaming is a very unfortunate measure since it is widely regarded as first step in a campaign to rename historical places and roads on communal grounds.”
The Left party also slammed Arvind Kejriwal for being party to the decision. “It is regrettable the Delhi government under AAP leadership also became party to this decision. The politburo demands the decision be reversed,” it said.
JD (U) president Sharad Yadav also opposed the move saying it will set wrong precedent. He sent a letter to the PM in this regard.
“I write this letter to oppose the move of NDMC to change the name of Aurangzeb Road in the name of our former President APJ Abdul Kalam. I am not going into the details of the personality of last Emperor of Mughals Aurangzeb, but I would like to mention that history cannot be changed by just tearing the pages. Delhi has its history, which can be read by even through names of the roads. It is not only a move to deviate from the history, but it will also amount to opening a Pandora’s Box. I am of the opinion that we should not touch the sensitive issues and rather non-issues, and instead concentrate on the important national issues,” he stated in the letter.
Earlier, former UP Chief Minister BSP chief Mayawati said the decision to rename the road reflects narrow mindedness and will start a wrong tradition. In a press statement, she warned that the decision may bring bad name to the country and demand the cancellation of decision.
Condemning the move, Welfare Party of India said it is a “deliberate” move that is “likely to set the trend of rechristening other cities/streets distorting history”. Party President Dr SQR Ilyas made it clear that Aurangzeb was not anti-Hindu as he was being projected by some dishonest historians. He referred to former Orissa Governor Bishambhar Nath Pande’s collection of Aurangzeb’s Farman (orders that amply show Aurangzeb was a secular emperor who donated lands for building temples.
President of SDPI Delhi, Advocate Aslam Ahmed in a statement said the move ostensibly demonstrates that it is aimed at maligning Aurangzeb and it is saffron parivar’s “good muslim, bad muslim” view of the minority community.
‘It is ironical that a road is being renamed which is associated with the history. The intention reflects warped view of the Indian history, wherein Aurangzeb is viewed as a cruel ruler which is far from truth. On the statement which articulates Aurangzeb as a cruel ruler, he said, Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor who embraced simplicity, making a living out of stitching skull caps and scripting of the Holy Quran, although he presided over the largest empire in the Indian history with highest revenue earnings in the world’ Advocate Aslam further added.
It is to be noted that NDMC in 2007 had passed a resolution that clearly stated roads would not be renamed if the names in question are linked with history. So, NDMC is guilty of violating its own resolution for the sake of political expediency.