New Delhi: The BJP Saturday said the renaming of the iconic gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan as ‘Amrit Udyan’ shreds yet another symbol of colonialism while 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”.
Rashtrapati Bhavan’s famed Mughal Gardens will now be known as ‘Amrit Udyan’. The resplendent gardens are open to the public once a year and people can visit from January 31 this time.
Union ministers and BJP leaders hailed the decision as a move towards a “new India”.
“Welcome and thank Hon’ble 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 a colonial relic but also reflects India’s aspirations for the Amrit Kaal,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Twitter.
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, in a tweet, said, “Our Hon’ble President of India, Droupadi Murmu Ji sets an example by renaming the iconic gardens at the President House as ‘Amrit Udyan.'”
“A powerful symbol of our nation’s progress and a reflection of a brighter future for New India,” he said.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh welcomed the decision while Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar thanked the prime minister, saying, “My country is changing.”
The government had last year renamed Delhi’s famed Rajpath as “Kartavya Path”. The renaming of the stretch and other institutions is in line with the Centre’s effort to remove any trace of the colonial mindset, the government has maintained.
However, the opposition said the government should focus on job creation and controlling inflation instead.
“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 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”.
“The RSS’ agenda is to rewrite Indian history and redefine nationhood. When we celebrate our Republic, it is for the people to stand up and safeguard our secular, democratic Indian Republic. India is not a theocracy, India is a democracy,” he said.
Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Imran Pratapgarhi sarcastically said the move will “give relief” to people troubled by the falling Adani shares.
“Adani’s shares were falling and the credibility of the government too. Giving immediate relief to the troubled public, the government has changed the name of ‘Mughal Garden’ to ‘Amrit Udyan’,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Former Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore welcomed the decision to change the name, saying, “The country is changing! The new India of Amrit Kaal is highlighting the great colours of Indianness by removing the signs of slavery.”
“The Congress had imposed the name Mughal Garden on the world-famous garden of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Thank you Modi ji for erasing the name of the invading Mughals and making ‘Amrit Udyan’,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Supporting the move, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said on Twitter, “Another historic decision of the Modi government in ‘Amrit Kaal’ to come out of the mindset of slavery. Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan will be named Amrit Udyan now.”
Another BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said, “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/votebank mindset’ (sic).”
President Droupadi Murmu will grace the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan — Udyan Utsav 2023 — on Sunday.
On the occasion of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the President of India is pleased to give a common name to the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens as Amrit Udyan’, Navika Gupta, Deputy Press Secretary to the President, said in the statement.