BJP welcomes it, Cong calls it narrow-mindedness
New Delhi: President Murmu has renamed the gardens inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises as Amrit Udyan. The earlier name of these gardens was Mughal gardens. She did this to commemorate 75 years of Independence as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Apparently, it is a move towards getting rid of symbols of colonisation.
“On the occasion of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the President of India has given a common name to the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens as ‘Amrit Udyan’,” said Navika Gupta, deputy press secretary to President Droupadi Murmu.
“The collective identity of all the gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be ‘Amrit Udyan’. Earlier the identities were descriptive. Now a new identity has been given to the gardens,” stated Ajay Singh, Press Secretary to the President.
Interestingly, the Mughal Gardens, situated on Raisina Hill, have no connection with the Mughals. Britishers had built these gardens. The garden has several varieties of Tulips and Roses, along with other flowers. Photographs posted on social media showed signage for Tulips carrying the name Amrit Udyan in place of Mughal Gardens.
Visuals also show workers installing directional signage for Amrit Udyan somewhere near Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Amrit Udyan opens for public
Authorities will open The Rashtrapati Bhavan, along with Amrit Udyan, for visitors from January 31. They. will issue 17,500 tickets every day for visitors. The visiting hours will be from 10 am to 4 pm. The Rashtrapati Bhavan will remain open for visit till March 31 this year. New additions in the garden include selfie points.
The president’s deputy press secretary said, “The gardens will be open this time for the general public for two months, from January 31 to March 31. Besides, one day each has been dedicated for the special categories, like women, differently-abled among others.”
Why rename Mughal gardens: Congress
Welcoming the renaming of the gardens, Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi said it is a matter of happiness for the country. It gives a positive message and there is a need to break the fetters which remind Indians of slavery.
“Change of the name of Mughal Gardens in the Presidential Palace to Amrit Udyan is a very very positive message. Because this is the era of, this is the period of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, and this Amrit Mahotsav – all those things which remind us, are there to be proud of, we should be proud of,” she said.
“And we should be able to break the fetters which remind us of slavery. So let’s get over the feeling and thought of slavery and celebrate Independence the way Independence needs to be celebrated,” Meenakshi Lekhi said.
BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said those who are opposing the renaming of the gardens are prisoners of “Mughlai, votebank mindset.”
“When a historic decision on naming Mughal Gardens as Amrit Udyan has been taken in a series of steps to rid Bharat of symbols of Gulami, Colonial past — true to its DNA, some leaders oppose it displaying they are prisoners of ‘Mughlai, vote bank mindset. Why oppose this?” tweeted Poonawalla.
Meanwhile Congress leader Rashid Alvi said it is a sign of ‘narrow-mindedness.’
“Why is the Centre changing the name of the Mughal Gardens? Was it built by the BJP? Even the Rashtrapati Bhavan was built by the British. Will it be demolished?” Rashid Alvi questioned.