No more Aurangzeb Road – Ravi Shankar

Aurangzeb Road renamed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road

Ravi Shankar Etteth“India is a predominantly Hindu nation, as the census says. We have spent decades in self-denial. Conquerors like Aurangzeb are the bottom feeders of Indian history. Let the textbooks show him and his ilk as they really were—psychopaths, bigots and mass killers.” – Ravi Shankar

Mogul Emperor AurangzebHistory is a never-ending blockbuster, bristling with action, murder and assassinations, pogroms, romance, despotism and power. It also constantly reinvents itself. It would take the archaeology of imagination to reconstruct the past, as it had happened before. Or ones which have been erased or destroyed forever. History is also a narrative that can be changed. Stalin knew it. So did Mao Zedong and the Nazis. Also Aurangzeb.

Renaming Aurangzeb Road is the best thing that has happened to Indian history in a long time. India, in its newborn flush in 1947, decided to abandon morality and score moral upmanship over Pakistan, since there is no Jawaharlal Nehru Road or Mahatma Gandhi Marg in that blighted country. So, what the hell, let the Congress show that a majority Hindu nation can set aside its differences with history and celebrate the memory of tyrants and rapists. Hence roads were named after despoilers, mass murderers and violators of India—Aurangzeb, Shah Jehan, Akbar, Babur and others. The Leftist secular conspiracy to sterilise Indian education and portray India’s Muslim conquerors as either benign secularists like Akbar, or aesthetes like Shah Jehan, and Aurangzeb as just a regular guy who imposed a religious tax were fed to generations of students. In textbooks, they shared the pantheon with Rana Pratap Singh, Rana Sanga, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Pazhassi Raja and Veerapandiya Kattabomman as equals. Babur sacked the Somnath Temple, and destroyed the Ram Temple to build a mosque. Akbar subdued Rajputs mercilessly and created comprador alliances. Shah Jehan destroyed hundreds of temples in Benaras. Aurangzeb was a fratricide who demolished the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and temples in Khandela, Udaipur, Chittoor, Jodhpur and the reconstructed Somnath Temple, and built large mosques in their place. He destroyed schools run by Hindus. It is doubtful whether any Indian Muslim would like to be associated with this fanatic serial killer in spite of objections from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board members, the pan-Islamic All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the Shah Waliullah Institute, and Shah Jahan & Mumtaz Mahalothers. The secular argument that Aurangzeb is part of Indian history and cannot be demeaned by knocking his name off a road sign is sheer bilge. Even in a country full of Neo-Nazis, Germany has no Adolf Hitler Strasse. America has no road named after the Ku Klux Klan. No European city has been honoured with Attila’s moniker. No street in Italy bears Mussolini’s name. Not even a Sonia Gandhi Marg. No London square is named after Enoch Powell. But when the Congress government fiddled with history by renaming Delhi’s Curzon Road as Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Queensway as Janpath, York Road as Motilal Nehru Marg, and Connaught Place as Rajiv Chowk, secularists applauded—out with British imperialism. Let’s just stick to Aurangzeb.

India is a predominantly Hindu nation, as the census says. We have spent decades in self-denial. Conquerors like Aurangzeb are the bottom feeders of Indian history. Let the textbooks show him and his ilk as they really were—psychopaths, bigots and mass killers. India is on the road to revival. The names of tyrants have no place on the highways of modernity. – The New Indian Express, 6 September 2015

» Ravi Shankar Etteth is an author, cartoonist and columnist for The New Indian Express. Email him at ravi@newindianexpress.com

Aurangzeb's general order for the demolition of Hindu temples (9th April 1669) included the Somnath Temple in Gujarat.

Demolition of Keshava Rai Temple, Mathura, by order of Aurangzeb

Shivaji leaving Aurangzeb's court in anger.

Hindus forced to pay the jizya tax.

Prince Dara Shukoh paraded in public before being executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb's firman ordering the demolition of the Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi in August 1669 CE

Image Reference