BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who is a member of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), has proposed to rename ‘Dalhousie Road’, near Vijay Chowk, after renamed after Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s elder brother Dara Shikoh.
The road is named after Lord Dalhousie, who served as governor general of India from 1848-56.
A special meeting of the NDMC has been called on Monday morning to discuss and pass this proposal.
“It has brought to my notice that ‘Dalhousie Road’, which was named on the then British Governor General of India, is situated at the heart of New Delhi. Residents of my constituency have requested to rename this road in the name of ‘Dara Shikoh’,” Lekhi wrote in the letter dated February 3. A copy of the letter is with HT.
“Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of fifth Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, had promoted the peace and concord between the followers of Hinduism and Islam, and had interest in comparative religions, universal brotherhood, humanism and peace... He was a great patron of fine arts and music, and took his last breath in Delhi,” Lekhi in the letter, which has been addressed to NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar, says.
This is the third road in the Lutyens’ Zone of Delhi to be renamed in recent times.
Two years back, Aurangzeb Road was renamed as APJ Abdul Kalam Road after the former president. Last year, Race Course Road got a new name, Lok Kalyan Marg.
Other roads in central Delhi that were renamed in the past are Curzon Road to Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Irwin Road to Baba Kharak Singh Marg, King Edward Road to Maulana Azad Road and Kingsway to Rajpath.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials say proposals to rename roads can be considered and acted upon at the discretion of the council.
This proposal, however, is facing opposition from AAP MLA Surender Singh, who is also a member of the council. Singh, on Sunday, called the proposal a move keeping in mind Uttar Pradesh elections.
“In election time, they (BJP) do this. In UP, they have not given a single Muslim candidate ticket to contest in the polls. This is being done to avoid defeat. I propose to rename this road as Raja Suraj Mal Road instead.
“Dara Shikoh was Aurangazeb’s elder brother. Why don’t we rename the road after someone who has worked for all, both Hindu and Muslim? Suraj Mal was an iconic Jat ruler. We should rename Dalhousie Road after him,” he said, adding that he would raise the issue in the Council meeting on Wednesday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also a member of the NDMC.
Even while renaming Race Course Road, in September 2016, the proposal was that of Ekatma Marg. During the council meeting, Kejriwal proposed to rename the road after Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru. Finally the consensus was arrived on Lok Kalyan Marg.