The world famous Mughal Gardens at the President’s official home, Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi is being renamed with a common name as part of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations. The old road sign that said “Mughal Gardens” was removed and taken away in a bulldozer last week.
“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,” Deputy Press Secretary to the President Navika Gupta said.
While the BJP said the renaming shreds yet another symbol of colonialism, the opposition parties advised the government to focus on creating jobs and controlling inflation instead. The Congress did not officially react to the name change, but the Trinamool Congress and CPI rubbished the move, with the Left party terming it an “attempt to rewrite history”.
“Who knows, they might now want to rename the Eden Gardens and call it Modi Gardens! They should focus on creating jobs, controlling inflation and protecting the precious resources of LIC and SBI,” Trinamool Congress’ Parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien told news agency PTI. CPI general secretary D Raja said this name change has been going on for quite some time and “no one knows when it will end”.
There are three gardens in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, inspired by Mughal and Persian gardens. The public and the authorities started calling the one inspired by a garden with the same name in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar as “Mughal Gardens”. But the gardens were never officially named “Mughal Gardens”.
Spread over 15 acre, Amrit Udyan has often been portrayed as the soul of the presidential palace. Amrit Udyan draws its inspiration from the Mughal Gardens in Jammu and Kashmir, the gardens around the Taj Mahal and even miniature paintings of India and Persia, according to the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s website.
“The Amrit Udyan had up till now been opened for the public only during the annual festival, Udyan Utsav, held in the months of February-March. But the gardens, which forms the third circuit of the Rashtrapati Bhavan tour, will now be open for the public from August till March,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s website says.
“Welcome and thank President Droupadi Murmu ji for renaming the iconic gardens at the President House as Amrit Udyan. This new name not only shreds yet another symbol of colonial relic but also reflects India’s aspirations for the amrit kaal,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted.
The old road sign that said “Mughal Gardens” was removed with a bulldozer and a new board that said “Amrit Udyan” was installed.