Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday (September 14) announced that the Mughal Museum under construction in Agra will not be named after any Mughal ruler, but rather will be christened after Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
“How can our heroes be Mughals,” the chief minister exclaimed at a meeting to review the development work in the city, adding that anything that reeked of slavery had no place in Uttar Pradesh. He later put out a quote on similar lines.
“The museum under construction in Agra will be named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. There is no place for symbols of slavery in our new Uttar Pradesh. Shivaji Maharaj is our hero. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat,” he tweeted.
The Islamic names of several cities and localities in the state have been changed under the rule of Adityanath. While Allahabad’s name was changed to Prayagraj, Faizabad district was renamed as Ayodhya district and Mughalsarai to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar.
The project approved by the Akhilesh Yadav government in 2015, is being constructed on a sprawling six-acre land near the Taj Mahal. It will display Mughal artifacts, paintings, cuisine, costumes as well as arms and ammunition of the era (that lasted from 1526-1540 and 1555-1857). The project has an estimated budged outlay of ₹141 crore and has already received ₹90 crore.
Adityanath’s decision has been lauded by former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis among others.
The naming of the museum after Shivaji is also being called a masterstroke by the BJP to gain an emotional sway over the Marathi populace, especially at a time when the Shiv Sena is struggling with controversies.