The Intellectual Road Rage About the Renaming of Aurangzeb Road

In some countries it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is illegal in…

In some countries it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is illegal in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Poland and Romania (referenced from a Quora discussion thread) as all these countries were deeply affected by the scourge.

Due to whatever reasons, the holocaust and genocide that took place in India has been so far ignored by the historians, politicians, theologians, philosophers and intellectuals. Not just ignored, they have systematically been swept under the carpet. The historical facts have been twisted, destroyed and rewritten to suit a particular class of politics. Whether this happened during British rule or after that, is not the point, the point is that millions of people died over a period of 800 odd years after the Islamic invasion of India and this is a historic reality. In fact, the Hindu Kush is named so because millions of Hindus died  when they were captured as slaves and herded  across the mountain range.

I’m not trying to rake up old wounds, I’m just trying to present to you the context. If you really want to know what was happening on the streets of Delhi in  particular and all over India in general, you just need to visit one of the Sikh  museums (you can begin with Bangla Sahib) to see the paintings depicting the inhuman atrocities that took place during those dark ages. The graphic representations of kids and adults being ripped apart alive will give you the goosebumps.

You can say that those were the times like that and everywhere, even in Europe, people were being treated like as if  they were living in hell but if you want to attribute everything to “ those times”  then you can also attribute the Nazi Holocaust to “those times” because after all there was widespread hatred for the Jews  during “those times”  and you can also overlook the caste system in India especially among the Hindus because  this sort of stuff was a normal thing to happen during “those times” (although it is debatable whether such things were actually normal during “those times”).   Reservations and  all the affirmative action schemes should be revoked because why should the current generation pay for the sins of the previous generations? No, we all want to undo the injustice that happened in the past. If not undo, at least the present and future generations must know what their ancestors had to go through just to learn a lesson for the future.

Yes, you may argue that even the indigenous majority population must have come from somewhere else. If you use this logic, almost every indigenous population has come from Africa where the first humans started walking straight and began their respective journeys towards different continents. Or let’s start with amoeba then, and if that is too small, let’s start with the first vertebrates that left the ocean and decided to live on land.

Muslims have become a part of our inherent culture and there is no doubting that. But those invaders were invaders. They were not inherently Indian. Most of the Muslims in the Indian subcontinent were forcibly converted to Islam. Islam was neither an indigenous cultural phenomena nor a religious manifestation. It wasn’t brought to India by sages and Sufi saints, like Buddhism and Jainism that were taken to the Oriental countries by monks and peripatetic storytellers. The conquerors imposed the religion upon the local population and this is something that nobody can deny.

The great, great, great, great and so-on kids of the conquerors as well as the converted are now Indians, but back then, they were the outsiders and in fact most of the Indians called them “yavans” – a term that had existed since the times of the Greek invasion under Alexander. Aurangzeb always considered the non-Muslim population of the country as the vanquished. New temples were not allowed to be built, the old temples were not allowed to be repaired or revamped and many temples were razed in order to build mosques upon them – again, it doesn’t matter whether razing temples and building mosques over them were political decisions, religious decisions or metaphysical decisions just to please the Martians, the point is, the spirit of one community was constantly crushed to establish the superiority of another community just because the ruling class could get away with anything in the name of religion and power.

Undoubtedly it would be criminal to suggest that the atrocities of the past must be avenged.  But  in the name of religious harmony and  minority appeasement, is it necessary to rub salt on the wounds of the majority population just because the majority population happens to be the most tolerant religion in the world? This was exactly the intention of the people who suggested to name one of the premium roads in Delhi as Aurangzeb Road. Who would do such a thing in his or her right mind unless there was a sinister motivation?

As many have rightly pointed out, naming a road in the heart of the capital of India as Aurangzeb Road is same as naming a road as Hitler Road in Tel Aviv or having an Osama bin Laden Road in the heart of Manhattan. Even if you have a little idea of history, you will realise that Aurangzeb is easily the poster boy of the-most-diabolic-rulers club. It is of little importance how “efficient” a ruler he was and how young he was when he was defeating his enemies or how he executed his relatives in order to ascend the throne of Delhi because the history is replete with such lineages.

Even Vlad Dracula would make his enemies piss in their pants (or whatever they wore those days) because he would impale the defeated armies and the legend has it that he also drank their blood, but it doesn’t make him a venerable figure. No matter what a strategist Aurangzeb was and how brave he was and what scholarly pursuits he followed when he was not decapitating people. What’s important is, how people belonging to non-Muslim religions were treated during his reign. And they were treated badly. These people didn’t belong to some other country, to some distant land. The people who were tortured, broken and killed belonged to this very land and the future generations owe at least some understanding of the pain they must have gone through under emperors like Aurangzeb. If it were not for those people, the entire Indian subcontinent would by now have turned into an Islamic land. No matter how liberal you are, you know what it is to live in an Islamic country.

How does the name of a road matter?

Why do roads, streets, parks and even cities get named after individuals? We want to commemorate the contributions they have made to the country, to the society and to the overall well-being of the humankind. It is not to say that all the commemorations are justified. For example, you will find streets, roads, colleges, bridges, airports, and whatnot named after the Nehru-Gandhi family almost everywhere and most of these commemorations are nothing but political appeasement. Changing these names will, although, be a step in the right direction, set an unhealthy precedence, especially in our country where political fortunes are quite unpredictable and you never know which party is going to come to power after the next general elections. But undoing the mistakes of naming known streets and cities after established dictators and sadistic kings is definitely a step in the right direction.

In terms of human psychology, a name is never just a name, same as, a thought is not just any other thought. Whenever you pass through a street or a road, especially in your own country,  named after a known dictator who may have tortured, humiliated and butchered your ancestors, it kills a small part of you, whether you realise it or not.

It transmits a nagging message to you that the torturing and butchering of your ancestors matter to no one and hence, you don’t matter much in the scheme of things. Your ancestors were second-class citizens physically, and you are a second-class citizen politically, emotionally, culturally and intellectually. So yes, the renaming of such a road matters.

Quite predictably there has been a spate of articles, opinion pieces, hyper-debates and editorials on the sense and nonsense behind the renaming of the road. Our adarsh-liberals, being true to their vocation, came up with all sorts of reasons to rubbish the logic behind changing the name of the road. Some say it is a right-wing attack on the very idea of India (that is in reality steeped in cluelessness and Marxist propaganda).

Some say it is just a small glimpse of the onslaught being organised against the already marginalised minority community. Some have taunted the government to also demolish structures like the Red Fort and Taj Mahal since they were built by Muslim rulers. Some have suggested that cricket should be banned in India because it was brought to the country by the British. All the regular balderdash.

The Shish Ganj Gurudwara in Delhi where Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by Aurangzeb.

Fortunately we live in a free country. Unlike some countries where you can be flogged for uttering ideas and opinions that go against the government or the popular opinion, our left-libs, politicians, writers and journalists can get away with every fit of intellectual insanity without as much as even a rap on their knuckles. Really, this is a good thing and we should be proud of that.

A better justice would have been the naming of the road as Guru Tegh Bahadur Road, the 9th Sikh guru who was tortured and beheaded by the order of Aurangzeb because he wouldn’t leave his faith and convert to Islam.


Amrit Hallan provides professional content writing services. He generally mind his own business, but when he strongly feels about particular issues, he likes to take on the mantle of a journalist and commentator.
  • Prem Kapoor

    Firoz Shah Road should also be named after Mangal Pandey. Firoz Shah Tughlak was a fascist ruler who burnt a Brahmin alive at his palace gate merely because he was doing Pooja in a corner of the road. He was not disturbing him or any one else. Now Muslims always block roads in many cities on Fridays during prayers but he was not doing any such thing. Such a fascist ruler who practised a fascist civilisation should not be honoured in the city of Delhi or anywhere in the civilised world.

  • Prem Kapoor

    You won’t find roads named after Hitler.
    Tipu Sultan, St. Xavier is other names honored in Hindu-majority India. Recent name include so-called Mother Teresa.Aurangzeb was a secular ruler like Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan did his best to convert all non-believers (in what he believed) into “the religion of peace and equality” (trademark). He only destroyed Hindu temples and raised as many mosques as possible. Hence, Tipu is secular. In fact, In Karnataka we have many monuments, roads and institutions named after Tipu Sultan. He is also referred to as a freedom fighter in our history text books. Aurangzeb has not been lucky enough to get the title of ‘freedom fighter’

  • Sumit Kumar

    Instead of following Rahim, Raskhan and Dara Shikoh and Kalam Indian muslims are praising barbaric people like Aurangzeb, babar and timur and expecting majority community to heavily contribute towards the so called Ganga-Jamuni Culture.

  • Prem Kapoor

    Just stumbled on this from a old piece by Shekhar Gupta in which he takes on Krishna Menon wonder if he will ever say something similar about Aurangzeb. Read on

    ..Postscript: Do I have a personal wish on this sad anniversary? Yes. It is to be given a sand-blaster, a spray-paint can and an hour of amnesty. All I want to do is change the name of the avenue in central New Delhi named after Krishna Menon, the man primarily responsible for not just the humiliation of 1962 but also the loss of so many lives. A political system that still names avenues after an obstinate, autocratic disaster like him (whatever his filibustering brilliance), and that too, the avenue leading to its military headquarters, needs to introspect and correct its view of history. Or somebody pick up that sand-plaster and spray paint and rename it after Major Shaitan Singh or 13 Kumaon.[source]

  • Prem Kapoor

    t was Aurangzeb’s deeds which laid the foundation of India’s partition on religious ground. Unfortunately this bleeding Islamic concubine called India has not seen the last of Aurangzeb’s legacy. There is more to come. Could we ask, how long will a road named after Prithviraj Chauhan survive in Lahore or Dhaka?

    How long will Sonia Gandhi escape capture and GANG RAPE in Peshawar or Quetta? But in HINDUSTAN she is the uncrowned queen. Soon there will be umpteen roads named after her, and after Priyanka, too. Just wait to see the HINDUS’ love of KHANS, ALBANIANS and ITALIANS since we have ZERO “swadeshi” talent at home. The cowardly slavish NATIVES (Hindus) are terrified of the world backlash if they were to give decent HINDU and SIKH names to their roads and localities. By the way there is also a Shahjahan Road, an Akbar Road and a Sher Shah Suri Road in New Delhi, not to forget town provocative and degrading names like FAIZABAD, AURANGABAD, ALIGARH, TUGHLAQABAD, and ALLAHABAD and so on. After PARTITION that took the lives of one million Hindus, such names ought to have been “POISON” in the HINDU’S MOUTH.

    Had it not been for AURANGI the Mughal dynasty may have prospered in India for much longer, even up to 20TH century, especially if DARA SHIKON had replaced Shah Jahan? But the MUSLIM FANATIC that AURANGI was, he antagonized all HINDU KINGS and within 13 years of AURANGIS death, by 1720, the MUGHAL rule ended and the Marathas become the de-facto rulers of India. The re-establishment of combined HINDU MARATHA -SIKH rule in India was only possible because of AURANGI. So AURANGI IS GREAT.

    The MARATHAs and the SIKHS ruled most of India from 1720 to 1845, a period of about 125years, when the resurgent HINDU-SIKH rulers exterminated MUSLIMS from many part of India which would have not been possible without the contribution of AURANGI. SO AURANGI is certainly GREAT.

  • Ananth Sethuraman

    Some left-leaning liberals suggested that the road be named after Dara Shikoh. So it seemed that what bothered them was the name of Kalam. Kalam showed that it is possible for Muslims to live at peace with a Hindu nationalist government, without having to give up their Muslim identity. This is disconcerting for left-leaning liberals. Is the label “Hindu nationalism” even appropriate? In reality, the entire political vocabulary of the West–phrases like “nationalism”, “left-leaning liberalism”, “hard-line Islamism”, “left-wing”, “right-wing”–is unsuitable for non-western cultures.

    • Krispy K

      Well exactly. As I’ve been saying for a long time, it’s only brainless self-styled “leftists” who didn’t have the intellect to study actual useful subjects at real universities (i.e. not cretin factories like JNU) who insist on aping their Western idols and forcing square pegs into round holes. These idiots should not be allowed anywhere near the public discourse in India. It is to our eternal shame as Indians that we have allowed it to happen in the first place. If we don’t start changing it now then I don’t know when or if it will ever happen.

  • o.p.gpta

    There are some other roads in Delhi and elsewhere in India bearing names such s Timur Lane, Mohammad Ali Jinnah Road,and places such as Islampur which need to be changed for obvious reasons

    • Krispy K

      The only Muslim names that should be used for naming anything public in India are genuine patriots and contributors like Kalam (who was apparently spared the ignominy of being brainwashed into hating Hindus), rather than enemies as has been a nasty habit. While we’re at it, we should also start removing all the examples of fake-Gandhi narcissism that highlight the preponderance of public namings in their favour over the decades. A Congress-free and fake-Gandhi-free India is absolutely essential for the future.

      • Shubhangi Raykar

        Who gave the name Aurangzeb Road in the first place? if the British did then it should have been changed at the time of independence. Many names of colonial rulers were changed Particularly after creation of Pakistan it should have been changed as it is an eye sore to Hindus and Muslims who live in India should not object if they have genuine empathy for Hindus.

        • Krispy K

          Muslims who have genuine empathy for Hindus are in the *extreme* minority. And there are plenty of (non) Hindus who are willing to bend over for them. Hence these historical terrorists continue to be indulged.