From ‘7 RCR’ to ‘7 LKM’
From ‘7 RCR’ to ‘7 LKM’: The Prime Minister’s residential address no longer is 7 RCR but it 7LKM.
Looks like 2016 is the year of renaming in our capital city of India, New Delhi. It was not long ago that the renaming of the multinational hub, Gurgaon to Gurugram had drawn so much of criticisms to the government earlier this year, that now the famous Prime Minister’s residential address in the posh Lutyens’ Delhi will now be renamed to 7 Lok Kalyan Marg from 7 Race Course Road.
The Race Course Road was named after the Delhi race Course, part of the Delhi Race Club that was established in 1940 British-era. The BJP lawmaker Menakshi Lekhi, had earlier suggested in a letter that the name of the road should match with the culture of India, and Race Course Road did not. A decision to effect this renaming was taken at a high-level meeting of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that was presided by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A notification will soon be issued to complete the progress. NDMC Chairperson Naresh Kumar also said that the name of the road as Race Course Road on which the official residence of Prime Minister of India is situated does not match with the Indian ethos and value system. Hence, it was decided to rename it as Lok Kalyan Marg so to take the philosophy of public welfare in the mind.
This renaming of a famous road in Delhi is not the first one. Before this one a street very nearby was renamed from The Aurangzeb Road to after former President APJ Abdul Kalam. A number of historians had criticized the decision. In the said meeting, Lekhi had proposed the name ‘Ekatma Marg’ for the ‘Race Course Road’ in honor of the philosophy of the party’s idealogue Deendayal Upadhyay but it was rejected. AAP minister CM Kejriwal had suggested Guru Gobind Singh Marg after the 10th Sikh Guru. Even that got rejected as it didn’t convince the council members as fit for the renaming. Kejriwal even suggested that the council should perhaps consult the PM but members instead decided that on the basis of suggestions received from public, the road should rightly be named as Lok Kalyan(People’s welfare) Marg. The NDMC has also decided to rename the Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about adjacent to the Parliament complex as Guru Gobind Singh Chowk following representations from various Sikh organisations. The change of name of Gurudwara Rakabganj round-about to Guru Gobind Singh Chowk is seen as an effort to woo the Sikh community by both BJP and AAP ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls early next year.
The renaming has drawn mixed reactions from the people. Some political parties and historians welcomed this change, others criticized the move. Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay welcomed the move saying,“Any name which reflects on the culture and greatness of the nation is good. I don't think there is any scope of making any issue out of it.” While Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken refused to comment on the development, so a senior party leader Manish Tiwari said “Why no Param Vir Chakra winner Abdul Hamid Marg or St Teresa Marg?” Conservation Architect AGK Menon, slammed the strategy behind renaming of roads but described this decision as “harmless” precisely because it has no “historical agenda”. He had not reacted the same with the Aurangzeb road renaming.
Any change brought in the country is always subjected to some slamming and some acceptance. We already saw the reactions of eminent people. The public in general haven’t expressed anything on the change. While I think this change wasn’t necessary as it is being claimed by many because if there was so much to be thought on preserving and matching up with the Indian culture, the change should have been brought years before, may be soon after India got its Independence. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for change now. A good change is always welcomed but maybe the country has more things to focus on than just renaming of roads. We will find out in coming days about this, whether the renaming change done has any affects on anyone as such or not.
Maharastra Nivnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray has demanded and set a 48-hour deadline for the Pakistani actors and artists working in India to ‘get out of India’. Taking cue from Shiv Sena, which had vowed not to allow Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to promote their upcoming movies in Maharastra, MNS Chitrapat Sena, a MNS affliate, has also threatened the Pakistani actors to leave the country but nobody in particular. Their President Amey Khopkar said that if they didn’t, these ‘sena’ people will push them out.
Read Also: Shiv Sena pushing it with Modi
These horrific demands are raised when India is amongst a heightened time with the neighboring country Pakistan. After terrorists killed eighteen Indian army personnel at an Army Camp in Uri, Kashmir, the blame fell on Pakistan for the attack. There were reports from the probe agencies who proved this blame, as they had recovered weapons and ammunition bearing Pakistan’s insignia from the attack site. Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that the latter has a traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil. Prime Minister condemns the attack and has promised the nation, that this attack won’t go unpunished.
But this outrageous behavior towards Pakistani people working in India is not the first of its kind. There have been threats earlier to Pakistani artists by Mumbai-based political parties. Shiv Sena has earlier forced the noted ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to cancel his performance in Mumbai. They had also threatened to launch a stir against a cricket match between Pakistan and India during the T20 World Cup.
Many see this behavior of Sena as impractical including Barkha Dutt, who took to Twitter to express - “Oh for God's sake, stop targeting Pakistani actors & artistes in the film industry. Tough 'Action' is about real targets, not fall guys”. The Sena move is obviously very illogical because the actors and the artists could not have possibly been involved in the terror attack. Only on the pretext that they belong to the nation that is responsible for it, does not give justice to the fact them being threatened. India has enough man power to take on Pakistan’s army if it comes to that. The central government is looking after the matter and meanwhile, the other smaller parties should better stay away from doing such big atrocities.