No more Aurangzeb Road – Ravi Shankar

Aurangzeb Road renamed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road

Ravi Shankar Etteth“India is a predominantly Hindu nation, as the census says. We have spent decades in self-denial. Conquerors like Aurangzeb are the bottom feeders of Indian history. Let the textbooks show him and his ilk as they really were—psychopaths, bigots and mass killers.” – Ravi Shankar

Mogul Emperor AurangzebHistory is a never-ending blockbuster, bristling with action, murder and assassinations, pogroms, romance, despotism and power. It also constantly reinvents itself. It would take the archaeology of imagination to reconstruct the past, as it had happened before. Or ones which have been erased or destroyed forever. History is also a narrative that can be changed. Stalin knew it. So did Mao Zedong and the Nazis. Also Aurangzeb.

Renaming Aurangzeb Road is the best thing that has happened to Indian history in a long time. India, in its newborn flush in 1947, decided to abandon morality and score moral upmanship over Pakistan, since there is no Jawaharlal Nehru Road or Mahatma Gandhi Marg in that blighted country. So, what the hell, let the Congress show that a majority Hindu nation can set aside its differences with history and celebrate the memory of tyrants and rapists. Hence roads were named after despoilers, mass murderers and violators of India—Aurangzeb, Shah Jehan, Akbar, Babur and others. The Leftist secular conspiracy to sterilise Indian education and portray India’s Muslim conquerors as either benign secularists like Akbar, or aesthetes like Shah Jehan, and Aurangzeb as just a regular guy who imposed a religious tax were fed to generations of students. In textbooks, they shared the pantheon with Rana Pratap Singh, Rana Sanga, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Pazhassi Raja and Veerapandiya Kattabomman as equals. Babur sacked the Somnath Temple, and destroyed the Ram Temple to build a mosque. Akbar subdued Rajputs mercilessly and created comprador alliances. Shah Jehan destroyed hundreds of temples in Benaras. Aurangzeb was a fratricide who demolished the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and temples in Khandela, Udaipur, Chittoor, Jodhpur and the reconstructed Somnath Temple, and built large mosques in their place. He destroyed schools run by Hindus. It is doubtful whether any Indian Muslim would like to be associated with this fanatic serial killer in spite of objections from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board members, the pan-Islamic All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, the Shah Waliullah Institute, and Shah Jahan & Mumtaz Mahalothers. The secular argument that Aurangzeb is part of Indian history and cannot be demeaned by knocking his name off a road sign is sheer bilge. Even in a country full of Neo-Nazis, Germany has no Adolf Hitler Strasse. America has no road named after the Ku Klux Klan. No European city has been honoured with Attila’s moniker. No street in Italy bears Mussolini’s name. Not even a Sonia Gandhi Marg. No London square is named after Enoch Powell. But when the Congress government fiddled with history by renaming Delhi’s Curzon Road as Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Queensway as Janpath, York Road as Motilal Nehru Marg, and Connaught Place as Rajiv Chowk, secularists applauded—out with British imperialism. Let’s just stick to Aurangzeb.

India is a predominantly Hindu nation, as the census says. We have spent decades in self-denial. Conquerors like Aurangzeb are the bottom feeders of Indian history. Let the textbooks show him and his ilk as they really were—psychopaths, bigots and mass killers. India is on the road to revival. The names of tyrants have no place on the highways of modernity. – The New Indian Express, 6 September 2015

» Ravi Shankar Etteth is an author, cartoonist and columnist for The New Indian Express. Email him at

Aurangzeb's general order for the demolition of Hindu temples (9th April 1669) included the Somnath Temple in Gujarat.

Demolition of Keshava Rai Temple, Mathura, by order of Aurangzeb

Shivaji leaving Aurangzeb's court in anger.

Hindus forced to pay the jizya tax.

Prince Dara Shukoh paraded in public before being executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb's firman ordering the demolition of the Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi in August 1669 CE

Image Reference


3 Responses

  1. I reproduce an extract from the book, STORY OF CVILISATION by Will Durant on Aurangzeb, which is self explanatory;

    Those who look on India in its present state may be inclined to sus-
    pect the native writers of exaggerating its former prosperity; but
    the deserted cities, ruined palaces and choked-up aqueducts which
    we still see, with the great reservoirs and embankments in the midst
    of jungles, and the decayed causeways, wells and caravanserais of
    the royal roads, concur with the evidence of contemporary trav-
    elers in convincing us that those historians had good grounds for
    their commendation. 115

    ShahJehan had begun his reign by killing his brothers; but he had neglected
    to kill his sons, one of whom was destined to overthrow him. In 1657 the
    ablest of these, Aurangzeb, led an insurrection from the Deccan. The
    Shah, like David, gave instructions to his generals to defeat the rebel army,
    but to spare, if possible, the life of his son. Aurangzeb overcame all the
    forces sent against him, captured his father, and imprisoned him in the
    Fort of Agra. For nine bitter years the deposed king lingered there, never
    visited by his son, attended only by his faithful daughter Jahanara, and
    spending his days looking from the Jasmine Tower of his prison across
    the Jumna to where his once-beloved Mumtaz lay in her jeweled tomb.

    The son who so ruthlessly deposed him was one of the greatest saints
    in the history of Islam, and perhaps the most nearly unique of the Mogul
    emperors. The mullahs who had educated him had so imbued him with
    religion that at one time the young prince had thought of renouncing the
    empire and the world, and becoming a religious recluse. Throughout his
    life, despite his despotism, his subtle diplomacy, and a conception of
    morals as applying only to his own sect, he remained a pious Moslem,
    reading prayers at great length, memorizing the entire Koran, and warring
    against infidelity. He spent hours in devotion, and days in fasts. For the
    most part he practised his religion as earnestly as he professed it. It is
    true that in politics he was cold and calculating, capable of lying cleverly
    for his country and his god. But he was the least cruel of the Moguls, and


    the mildest; slaughter abated in his reign, and he made hardly any use of
    punishment in dealing with crime. He was consistently humble in deport-
    ment, patient under provocation, and resigned in misfortune. He ab-
    stained scrupulously from all food, drink or luxury forbidden by his
    faith; though skilled in music, he abandoned it as a sensual pleasure; and
    apparently he carried out his resolve to spend nothing upon himself save
    what he had been able to earn by the labor of his hands. 110 He was a St.
    Augustine on the throne.

    Shah Jehan had given half his revenues to the promotion of archi-
    tecture and the other arts; Aurangzeb cared nothing for art, destroyed
    its ”heathen” monuments with coarse bigotry, and fought, through a reign
    of half a century, to eradicate from India almost all religions but his
    own. He issued orders to the provincial governors, and to his other sub-
    ordinates, to raze to the ground all the temples of either Hindus or Chris-
    tians, to smash every idol, and to close every Hindu school. In one year
    (1679-80) sixty-six temples were broken to pieces in Amber alone, sixty-
    three at Chitor, one hundred and twenty-three at Udaipur; m and over the
    site of a Benares temple especially sacred to the Hindus he built, in de-
    liberate insult, a Mohammedan mosque. 118 He forbade all public worship
    of the Hindu faiths, and laid upon every unconverted Hindu a heavy
    capitation tax. 119 As a result of his fanaticism, thousands of the temples
    which had represented or housed the art of India through a millennium
    were laid in ruins. We can never know, from looking at India today, what
    grandeur and beauty she once possessed.

    Aurangzeb converted a handful of timid Hindus to Islam, but he
    wrecked his dynasty and his country. A few Moslems worshiped him as
    a saint, but the mute and terrorized millions of India looked upon him
    as a monster, fled from his tax-gatherers, and prayed for his death. Dur-
    ing his reign the Mogul empire in India reached its height, extending into
    the Deccan; but it was a power that, had no foundation in the affection
    of the people, and was doomed to fall at the first hostile and vigorous
    touch. The Emperor himself, in his last years, began to realize that by
    the very narrowness of his piety he had destroyed the heritage of his
    fathers. His deathbed letters are pitiful documents.

    I know not who I am, where I shall go, or what will happen to
    this sinner full of sins. . . . My years have gone by profitless. God
    has been in my heart, yet my darkened eyes have not recognized his


    light. . . . There is no hope for me in the future. The fever is
    gone, but only the skin is left. … I have greatly sinned, and know
    not what torments await me. . . . May the peace of God be upon

    He left instructions that his funeral should be ascetically simple, and that
    no money should be spent on his shroud except the four rupees that he
    had made by sewing caps. The top of his coffin was to be covered with a
    plain piece of canvas. To the poor he left three hundred rupees earned by
    copying the Koran. 121 He died at the age of eighty-nine, having long out-
    stayed his welcome on the earth.

    Within seventeen years of his death his empire was broken into frag-
    ments. The support of the people, so wisely won by Akbar, had been
    forfeited by the cruelty of Jehangir, the wastefulness of Jehan, and the
    intolerance of Aurangzeb. The Moslem minority, already enervated by
    India's heat, had lost the military ardor and physical vigor of their prime,
    and no fresh recruits were coming from the north to buttress their de-
    clining power. Meanwhile, far away in the west, a little island had sent
    its traders to cull the riches of India. Soon it would send its guns, and take
    over this immense empire in which Hindu and Moslem had joined to
    build one of the great civilizations of history.

  2. Great Message. I salute the Author for his conviction; Few people writing and commenting is insufficient. if the Media has any thing of Indian, let them give wide publicity; millions of leaders form Hindus should emerge to educate the common man; India and Hinduism has have been very tolerant; but, every body has been exploiting these noble qualities; the most pitiable aspect is that our own cousins, instead of appreciating the fortitude of our fore fathers, swear by the religion, that they are practicing now! they do not appreciate what mammoth problems, all the people of India will face with so many pockets of any non Hindus; who ever sowed the idea of division based on Religion has made the lives of hundreds of millions a question mark

  3. All Mughal names must be erased

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