A group of Hindutva goons on Sunday arrived at Delhi’s famous Akbar Road to replace the road sign with a poster bearing new name, Atal Marg. The goons claimed that the decision was to erase the memory of an ‘invader’ and pay respect to a ‘patriot.’
Leading the mob was one Deepak Sharma, who is known to post communally charged videos on Facebook. He was joined by several other Hindutva supporters with saffron stoles around their neck.
Sharma, who expressed ignorance on the date of birth of former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, claimed that he was a big fan of the former prime minister adding that a ruler, an invader, who destroyed India could not be given a space on the Indian roads. The known Hindutva goon also could not answer how many times Vajpayee had served India as prime minister and the number of poetry he penned as a poet.
The antics of the Hindutva goons evoked sharp reactions from journalists and other social media users. Journalist Prashant Kumar wrote, “When an over enthusiastic cutlet is confronted by a sensible journalist the result is THIS! The bhakt who tried to rename Akbar Road on Vajpayee ji didn’t even know his birthday!”
When an over enthusiastic cutlet is confronted by a sensible journalist the result is THIS! The bhakt who tried to rename Akbar Road on Vajpayee ji didn’t even know his birthday! Superb sampadak @jainendrakumar! https://t.co/QwV6LE5KyH
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) September 2, 2018
Another journalist Anurag Dhanda wrote, “Today, a group of people pasted a poster bearing the name Atal Marg on the signboard of Akbar Road. We asked them why they did not try to replace the names of Humayun Road or Shahjahan (also Mughal emperors). (That’s because Akbar Road has the Congress party’s headquarters.)”
कुछ लोगों ने आज अकबर रोड के बोर्ड पर अटल मार्ग चस्पा कर दिया। हमने पूछा शाहजहां या हुमायूं रोड पर ये पोस्टर क्यों नहीं लगाया?
(दरअसल अकबर रोड पर कांग्रेस का दफ्तर है) ?? pic.twitter.com/WNlYQf3GmY
— Anurag Dhanda (@anuragdhanda) September 2, 2018
Even during the time of Vajpayee as prime minister, there were no attempt to rename the roads, already named after Mughal emperors. Such demands have gained momentum after Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014. In 2015, both the BJP and Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party had changed the name of Delhi’s famous Aurangzeb Road after the supporters of the Hindutva brigade led by Pakistani origin man Tarek Fatah mooted the idea to replace the name with that of former President, APJ Abdul Kalam.