It has been a month since the nation grieved the loss of one of its most beloved leaders, former President APJ Abdul Kalam. If Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal&’s latest tweet is any indication, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has finally given us a reason to smile.
“Congrats. NDMC jst (just) now decided to rename Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road,” wrote Kejriwal.
Hearing the news that Aurangzeb, the ruthless Mughal emperor known for his dictatorial rule over Delhi, is set to make way for the brilliant and kind Indian visionary, Abdul Kalam, was a cause for celebration for most.
An onslaught of tweets followed, welcoming the move by the Delhi civic body to honour Kalam:
“It’s better to move to new world, End of cruel Aurangzeb and (beginning of) kind Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam…..”
“49 years of brutality (#Aurangzeb ) took just one hammer of greatness ( APJ AbdulKalam).”
“I am happy that @ArvindKejriwal changed the name of Aurangzeb Road to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road on the request of @MaheishGirri.”
“Aurangzeb was nothing in front of Kalam. Aurangzeb is famous in history book but APJ Abdul Kalam is famous by Indian heart.”
However, there were some who questioned the gesture, not considering it an appropriate measure to pay respect to the great man.
“Does Dr. Apj Abdul Kalam deserve only a road with him??? Y(Why) don’t we start a science or other education institutes,” wrote one Mohammed Zaker Ahmed.
Some, in particular, did not welcome the idea of “rewriting history” with this move.
“You don’t re write history by changing street names! Or breaking mosques!” wrote veteran journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
Not everyone in the media world, though, endorsed her opinion.
“Aurangzeb Road being renamed APJ Abdul Kalam Marg may well go down as one of the most welcomed name changes!” tweeted prominent news anchor, Vikram Chandra.
“Since popular memory is neatly classified into the Good, Bad & Ugly, I am glad Aurangzeb has been removed from the official list of Good,” wrote the well-known writer and journalist, Swapan Dasgupta.
Belonging to an even rarer breed than the critics, were the ones who tried to diffuse the tension.
“I learnt that both Aurangzeb and APJ Abdul Kalam played the Veena. Perhaps we could rename it "Veena Vadhak Marg" and avoid all controversy,” one Aniket Alam tweeted.
Kejriwal on Friday announced the renaming of the road in a tweet. The tree-lined Aurangzeb Road is located in the heart of Delhi.
While Delhi gets ready to walk on the intended path of Kalam, quite literally now, there still seems to be a cloud of doubt regarding this decision.