How can Mughals be heroes, asks Adityanath; renames Agra museum
The under-construction Mughal museum in Uttar Pradesh city Agra will be named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his office said in a statement on Monday. During a review meeting to assess the development work undertaken in the historic city, Adityanath asked, "How can Mughals be our heroes?" He said the name of the Maratha warrior will "invoke nationalism."
Nationalist ideology drove this decision: CMO
At the meeting, Adityanath is learned to have told officials that his government will do away with anything that reeks of "subservient mentality." "The chief minister made it clear that his government has always nurtured the nationalist ideology," a communiqué released by his office read. Later, Adityanath also put out a tweet saying symbols that promote slavery have no place in new UP.
Our hero is Shivaji Maharaj: Adityanath
The museum is the brainchild of Adityanth's predecessor Akhilesh Yadav
Notably, in 2016, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav laid the foundation for the museum, which is located at the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal. It is nearly 2 km away from the main monument. The museum, costing approximately Rs. 140 crore, will house artifacts and documents linked to Shivaji Maharaj, and will also give a sneak peek into the Mughal rule in India.
Museum will reveal details of Shivaji Maharaj's connection with Agra
Spread across 5.9 acres of land, the museum will have eight galleries. A report claimed one of the galleries will be solely dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj, wherein his association with Agra will be displayed. Centuries ago, the Maratha warrior, who had a conflict with Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, escaped from the Agra Fort, causing much embarrassment to the latter.
Notably, UK-based firm is working on this ambitious museum
The museum is designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the firm of celebrated UK-based architect David Chipperfield, and its Indian collaborator Studio Archohm. According to the architects' website, "It (the museum) is part of a larger masterplan to improve visitor facilities in the area around the mausoleum, which attracts up to eight million visitors a year." The construction was due to be finished by 2017.
Official claimed lockdown and lack of funds stalled the construction
About the delay, Deputy Director of UP tourism office in Agra, Amit Srivastava, said most of the work is completed. "The finishing touch is yet to be given. There was a paucity of funds because of the lockdown and the work stopped," Srivatsava told HT.
Earlier, Adityanath had said he changed names as per mythology
Evidently, since he came to power in 2017, Adityanath has changed the names of several places that carried the Mughal stamp. He renamed Mughalsarai Junction as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, and renamed Faizabad as Ayodhya. When quizzed about the name changing spree, Adityanath had told India TV that cities got newer names as per mythological beliefs.
SP said Adityanath isn't clearing funds; Fadnavis welcomed name-change decision
Similar to the previous incidents, Adityanath's latest name-change decision also took political turns as SP slammed him. The party's Agra city President Wazid Nisar said, "This Mughal Museum was the dream project of then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. The BJP government is not releasing the required funds for the completion of the project." And, unsurprisingly, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the decision.