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Aurangzeb Road

How Delhi’s heart mocks Secular ideals in India

Bodhan was a Hindu Saint.  A renunciate.  He lived in the kingdom of Sikander Lodhi.  In his great Secular moment, the renunciate said – Islam and Hindu Dharma are both equally acceptable to God if followed with sincerity.  Very secular and very fair it would seem to many.  However, Sikander Lodhi had him burnt alive.  Because he had committed blasphemy.  Bodhan was not the only Hindu Lodhi had killed, but the Saint symbolized in many ways the intolerance of Lodhi’s Islamic sensibility in the many thousands he had killed during his lifetime!

Interestingly, Sikander Lodhi’s mother, Bibi Ambha was the daughter of a Hindu goldsmith of Sirhind.  Sikander Lodhi’s father had come from Persia and settled in Multan.

Arguably the most significant park in New Delhi is named after Sikander Lodhi.  Utter insensitivity apart, this is a complete mockery of any real Secular idea.  And, that is all you need to know about the pretensions that Indian Secularism is beset with.

Right next to the Lodhi Gardens, and covering the most significant real estate in Delhi we have a triangle formed by three roads which are very interestingly named.  Aurangzeb Road, Safdarjung Road and Prithviraj Road.

Delhi Map

Safdarjung was a nobody during the decline of the Mughal dynasty in mid-1700s.  He was a Faujdar in that kingdom.  This area happens to have a tomb of this loser nobody in the worst days of arguably the worst rule for India.  A time which heralded the British rule in India due to lack of any administration.

Aurangzeb Road is criss-crossed by an Aurangzeb Lane.  So, this guy gets a double gift.  Who was Aurangzeb?  Aurangzeb was a fanatic barbarian, who not only tortured and killed the 9th Sikh Guru – Guru Tegh Bahadur in Delhi, but fought the last Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh and killed his wife and kids apart from his close associates.  This vicious barbarian had also killed his elder brother Dara Shikoh, arguably one of the most Spiritual soul in the entire Mughal dynasty!   The complete absence of such Spiritual luminaries as Dara Shikoh, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh in representing the main milestones in Lutyens Delhi and double honor for a fanatic barbarian whose only dream was to convert India into an Islamic country in his lifetime is more than simply a coincidence.

Prithviraj Road is named after a Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan, a Hindu king who allegedly defeated Mohammad Ghori 16 times and set free only to be killed by him the 17th time.  In Hindu lore, Prithviraj Chauhan represents a king who inadvertently became the conduit of barbaric and fanatic Islamic rule for over 700 years in India.  If at all, in the Hindu psyche Prithviraj represents the defeatist link who had a pseudo sense of morality that triumphed over practicalities.

The triangle in the heart of India’s capital Delhi represents how the Cultural heart has sided with the Losers and Barbarians in this culture and losers who ushered in the invaders.  Those who were great and revered  – like Dara Shikoh or Sikh Gurus or Dharmic Monks and Great Beings, say Buddha or Krishna or Vivekananda – have been completely absent.

More importantly, why would a country name the most important milestones in its capital after Invaders and foreigners who came with ulterior motives?  Isn’t commemorating history about telling the truth and instilling a sense of pride – not false but that based on facts – and emphasizing that which is indeed empowering about one’s history?  If that is so, then what has been the reason to use names of invaders and barbarians like Aurangzeb, Lodhi and Safdarjung to name the most important milestones in the heart of the capital?  Was this dictated by some warped sense of pseudo secularism on part of the first generation of “leaders” in Indian Government?

The implicit and the obvious hypocrisy of the “Secular” Indian elite is difficult to miss.  Such decisions to name milestones aren’t – or at least shouldn’t – be taken lightly.  And even if they were taken lightly, the decision maker would have had a remarkable sense of masochist self hate for Indian ethos to put barbarians like Aurangzeb and Lodhi on such a pedestal.  An act as absurd and demeaning as naming the central road in Tel Aviv after Adolf Hitler.  The imbecility is that stark!




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The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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6 Comments on "How Delhi’s heart mocks Secular ideals in India"

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Amit Chaurasia
Amit Chaurasia
September 2, 2014 12:31 pm
This must be a Dark Knight. Nobody would have thought about it. What a great thought..!! And a scary one too. The menace of pseudo-secularism has been so deeply ingrained in our blood that we are celebrating mass murderers and barbaric tyrants. Just to add, the barbarism of Aurangzeb could be seen from the way he killed Sambhaji raje, son of Shivaji maharaj. First he was offered a choice to convert to Islam and when he refused, was badly tortured for days together including gorging of eyes, peeling off the nails, breaking bones and teeth, chopping off the limbs before… Read more »
renu s
September 14, 2014 10:31 am

I have thought like you Desh ji since the 1st time I went to visit some very wealthy persons on Auranzeb Road. The DLF people and said I cannot understand how such rich people live on this street w/o changing the name -I also gave an example of Hitler Road in Germany- they do not have such a road!

September 27, 2014 4:40 am

100% right in what you said. It’d good to right then politically correct. I think this is the bitter pill they need to swallow.

November 12, 2014 6:03 pm

If we knew the history of when and by whom these names were given to these streets, we can make some sense. Delhi is an old city and perhaps these names are historical. Do we know?

Rps Kohli
Rps Kohli
November 17, 2014 2:38 am
Regain National PRIDE by renaming Aurangzeb Road (Cruel Intolerant Tyrant) to Guru Tegh Bahadur Road (Epitome of Sacrifice for All Religions) My Fellow Citizens Please do not mistake this for HATE or another attempt to rake up the past or religious bigotry. I have the fullest respect for our Muslim brothers and hold the Muslims in reverence. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of living said “No nation can move forward, unless it squarely faces its past. The courage to remember helps us not to repeat the same mistakes and to build a better future for our children”.… Read more »