Updated: July 15, 2021 4:46:28 pm
A proposal to rechristen a municipal garden in Mumbai’s Govandi after Tipu Sultan, the king of Mysore, faced opposition from right-wing organisation Hindu Janjagruti Samiti. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has agreed to name the garden, which is under revamp, after the Sultan and a proposal will be tabled before the Shiv Sena led Markets and Garden Committee for an approval on Thursday, it is likely to see a high pitched discussion during the meeting.
A delegation of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti met mayor Kishori Pednekar on Wednesday and submitted a letter to her and the chairman of the Markets and Garden Committee opposing the proposal, saying the move will hurt sentiments of the Hindu community.
“Tipu Sultan was a cruel king who killed Hindus. We are against naming a garden after him because he used to forcefully convert Hindus to Islam. He had demolished several Hindu temples and committed atrocities on women during his rule. The Hindu community will not tolerate this kind of a decision,” said Dr Uday Dhuri, spokesperson of the outfit, in the letter.
He further said, “Today, they are naming a garden after Tipu Sultan, tomorrow some monument may be rechristened after some cruel Mughal king who destroyed our country. The decision will hurt the sentiments of Hindus. The garden should be named after our great kings like Shivaji Maharaj who treated all religions equally.”
The revamp of the two-acre garden, plagued by encroachment and anti-social activities, at Saahi Naka, near Deonar Dumping ground, will be completed by December. The BMC is spending around Rs 2 crore on the project and the contractor has been given an 18-month deadline to finish the work.
According to the proposal, in January 2021, Rukhsana Siddique, a corporator from the Samajwadi Party, had written a letter to the Markets and Garden Committee to name the garden after Tipu Sultan. The suggestion was accepted and sent to the committee for its approval.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Siddiqui said she was not aware of the opposition. “Those who are opposing the move do not understand history properly. Tipu Sultan was among the first few rulers in India who opposed and fought a battle against the British East India Company. There were encroachments in the garden and we managed to clear it and now it has been revamped for the people of Govandi. Naming the garden after a great king will inspire people who are into anti-social activities and change their lives,” Siddique said.
She added, “Who are they to oppose? When this garden was encroached upon and was in a bad shape, where were they?”
Earlier, a controversy had erupted after Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had proposed to name a flyover on the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road after Sufi Saint Garib Nawaz Moinuddin Chishti.
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