Of late there has been a lot of angry letters and protests in the media space about changing name of Aurangzeb road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Personally, I think such a move is unwarranted, when government is beset with so many unresolved issues. Government may have its prerogative, but a wise government uses its privilages selectively.
Why change a name that has been there since independence. Aurangzeb may be a tyrant and anti Hindu, it was more than 300 years before. He is part of history. Why change the name of a road now? We can always name some other road to APJ Abdul Kalam. Many people have suspected anti Muslim bias of central government. Thank god a Muslim name is being replaced by another name that also happens to be Muslim and not Hindu. Now people are claiming BJP has favourite Muslims and not so favourite Muslims. APJ Abdul Kalam falls in the first category.
Protest by BJP spokes people that name change was not politically motivated has fallen in deaf ears. Many believe this is just the beginning, BJP RSS and sanghi’s will gradually Hinduise the whole nation. While it is acceptable that Aurangzeb is part of our history, good or bad we cannot change history. Changing name of road does not change history we might as well accept it. By the way did the following changes arouse as much discourse among free thinkers? I wonder, I was not even aware of many of them.
If we want to Aurangzeb road be where it is, we should have kept other name changes to where they were:
- Anantnag in J&K to Islamabad;
- Dalhousie Square in Kolkata to Binay Badal Dinesh Bag;
- Victoria Terminus in Mumbai to Chhtrapati Shivaji Terminus;
- St Thomas Mount Road in Chennai to Anna Salai.
Forget the following name changes, Calcutta to Kolkata; Bombay to Mumbai; Madras to Chennai; Bangalore to Bengaluru.
If all of the above changes were the then government’s prerogative, why so much noise about Aurangzeb road? Not all is well in the city of Denmark. It smacks of political opportunism! At the same time, government of the day as many more pressing issues to take care of. Changing name of a road is certainly not one of them. May be government is fighting her inner devils.