Supreme Court rejects plea seeking renaming of cities, historical places
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday dismissed a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking the renaming of cities and historical places that he claims are named after "invaders." The SC bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and KM Joseph allegedly questioned the PIL's intent, saying it will resurrect those issues, "which would keep the country on the boil."
SC bench's stance on Upadhyay's plea
In its judgment, the bench said that the petitioner is selectively reviewing the past and takes issue with labeling a whole culture as "barbaric." The court also added that Hinduism is a great religion, but it doesn't allow discrimination. Additionally, Justice Nagarathna stated that the country is dealing with many other issues that must be addressed first.
Can't have the country on boil: SC bench
"Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. Hinduism is a way of life, and there is no bigotry in Hinduism," the SC bench was quoted as saying by the news outlet NDTV. "Don't dig up the past, which will only create disharmony. Can't have the country on the boil," the court further added.
Details of Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay's petition
In his plea, the petitioner sought direction from the central government to constitute a renaming process to restore the "original" names of ancient religious, cultural, and historical places in the country that were "renamed" by "barbaric foreign invaders" in the past. The petition also urged the Centre and state governments to update their records and websites, which number in the thousands.
Mughal Gardens renamed to Amrit Udyan
Earlier this January, the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, also known as the Mughal Gardens, were renamed Amrit Udyan. "On the occasion of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the President of India is pleased to give a common name to the Rashtrapati Bhawan gardens as Amrit Udyan," President Droupadi Murmu's Deputy Press Secretary Navika Gupta said.
Congress calls it 'narrow-mindedness'
While the BJP welcomed the renaming decision with open arms, the opposition had other things to say. Calling the move a sign of "narrow-mindedness," Congress leader Raashid Alvi told Times Now: "Why is the Centre changing the name of the Mughal Gardens?" "Was it built by the BJP? Even the Rashtrapati Bhavan was built by the British. Will it be demolished?" Alvi added.
BJP spokesperson's reaction to renaming of Mughal Gardens
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla expressed his support for the renaming. "When a historic decision on naming Mughal Gardens as Amrit Udyan has been taken in a series of steps to rid Bharat of symbols of Gulami, Colonial past — true to its DNA, some leaders oppose it displaying they are prisoners of 'Mughlai/vote bank mindset.' Why oppose this?" he wrote on Twitter.