Why we danced when we found out Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road was being renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam

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By Tarek Fatah

In March, during a harangue in Delhi, we challenged India’s Muslims to mount adult and reject a Islamic State and instead start vital in a state of Islam; a office of law above all else.

And to start that tour we suggested they should direct that a Indian and Delhi governments change a name of a city’s Aurangzeb Road, named after a ruthless Mughal Emperor to a divine and producer aristocrat Dara Shikoh who was beheaded by Aurangzeb.

As an Indian Muslim innate in Pakistan, we initial visited India in 2013 and was repelled to see a name Aurangzeb accoutre one of a many stately streets of India’s capital.

Here was a male who had killed his elder hermit to theatre a house coup, who had his possess father detained for life and had several Islamic leaders of India hanged to death, among them a devout conduct of a Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of Gujarat. As emperor, Aurangzeb criminialized music, dance and a expenditure of ethanol in a Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab where many Muslims attended discourses by Hindu Brahmins, he systematic a dispersion of all schools and a temples where such communication took place, creation it punishable for Muslims who dressed like non-Muslims.

Mayank Austen/ FlickrMayank Austen/ Flickr

Representational image. Mayank Austen/ Flickr

But zero is some-more of a testimony to a cruelty and prejudice of Aurangzeb than a executions of a Muslim Sufi cryptic Sarmad Kashani and a ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. He deliberate a infancy Hindus of his area as ‘Kufaar’ and placed them as second category to Muslims, waged jihad opposite Shia Muslim rulers and wiped out all traces of a liberal, pluralistic and passive Islam introduced by his great-grandfather Emperor Akbar.

Aurangzeb currently would be a homogeneous of Caliph El-Baghdadi of a Islamic State (ISIS), if not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar of a Taliban.

Yet, many Indian Muslims are possibly not wakeful of Aurangzeb’s crimes or select to penchant a suspicion that he was a one loyal aristocrat who ruled India in a name of Islam with an iron fist and put Hindus and Sikhs in their legitimate place—at a bottom of a heap.

So we told a Muslims in my assembly that if they truly wanted to quarrel ISIS, they should take a lead in perfectionist a erasing of a murderer’s name and reinstate it with his hermit who is desired by all as a summary of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.

Then came news of a genocide of India’s many desired president, a Muslim from a country’s low south who lived in a state of Islam, not a Islamic State, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

On 29 June, we took to Twitter and urged Indians to ask their governments to change a name from Aurangzeb to APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

The suspicion held on like wildfire on amicable media and shortly Lok Sabha member from Delhi, Maheish Girri, wrote to Prime Minister Modi to assistance change a name.

Yesterday, we was woken by phone calls from friends in India with a news that a Delhi supervision had motionless to change a name of Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. It was 3 am in Toronto and we for a impulse suspicion we contingency be dreaming, though we was watchful so we woke adult my mother to share a news.

She shrugged me off, “Buddah pagal ho gaya hai kyaa?’’

But as best as we could do, we did a brew of a lungi dance and bhangra. we couldn’t trust we had pulled it off. (I am now anticipating unashamedly that someone in his affability will entice me to be in Delhi when a grave change in name takes place.)

The change of name, be it a tellurian being or a place carries outrageous significance. At times such a change is a pointer of subservience and slavery to a new master, while during other times it is one of overthrowing a confinement of a former dictator.

Thus Malcolm X forsaken his final name and took on X to reject a family name given to him by some past White slave-owner. In a same vein, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd as a reprove to a horrors inflicted on a Russian people by Stalin.

In a nation of my birth, Pakistan, many names that reminded us of a British Raj were changed. Thus ‘Victoria Road’ and ‘Elphinstone Street’ in Karachi took on names to simulate a new existence of a presumably eccentric country. But not all name changes are an act of editing wrong.

I was innate on a still travel in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949 on what was once famous as ‘Lala Lajpat Rai Road’, named after a Punjabi author, politician and one of a leaders of a Indian Independence movement.

  • Muslim outfits conflict fixing Aurangzeb Road in Delhi after APJ Abdul Kalam

    Muslim outfits conflict fixing Aurangzeb Road in Delhi after APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Delhi's Aurangzeb Road will be renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam

    Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road will be renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam

  • Heads they win, tails we lose: India should have abandoned Pakistan's entice to Hurriyat

    Heads they win, tails we lose: India should have abandoned Pakistan’s entice to Hurriyat

Lalaji, who died in 1928 after pang blows to his conduct in a strife with a military in Lahore, needs no introduction in India. But in a land where he gave his life, frequency anyone knows him, let alone honours him for his use and sacrifice. His crime? He was Hindu. Therefore, his name indispensable to be erased from a newly combined Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a supposed ‘Land of a Pure.’

Even as a child we could not know because ‘Guru Mandir’ a community where we was innate had to bear a name change and turn ‘Sabeel Wali Masjid’.

Already some Islamists inside India are condemning a change in name. They will disagree that if changing a name of Lala Lajpat Rai Road in Pakistan is wrong afterwards a same element should be practical to Aurangzeb Road. Wrong.

Lala Lajpat Rai was a pitch of India’s quarrel for leisure while Aurangzeb is a pitch of India’s confinement and a deception of an Arabized enlightenment of radical Islam on a land that savours pluralism and secularism. Jai Hind!