New Delhi: The ‘Mughal Garden’ at Delhi University’s North Campus has been renamed the ‘Gautam Buddha Centenary’ Garden, it has been reported, just days after the Rashtrapati Bhavan changed the name of its own Mughal Gardens to ‘Amrit Udyan’.
Delhi University registrar Vikas Gupta said that the renaming took place on January 27. The news agency PTI reported that the university claimed that it was changing the name of the garden because it was neither built by Mughals and not “does it have a Mughal design.” The garden has had a statue of the Gautam Buddha for the past 15 years.
PTI quoted an unnamed university official as having said that the name change was not coordinated with the Rashtrapati Bhavan but a “matter of chance.” The university allegedly came to the decision after “a prolonged discussion with its Garden Committee.”
A report on The New Indian Express said that the university had further claimed that “many botanists and garden experts had brought the issue to the university’s attention.”
“For the flower display, we want to create brochures and booklets. It is merely coincidental that the Mughal Garden’s name was also changed; the recommendation for the name change was made to the vice-chancellor 15 days ago,” an official said, according to TNIE.
The renaming of roads, gardens, and other areas for public use that had been originally named after Mughal kings and emperors or simply had the word ‘Mughal’ in them has become common under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule.
In Delhi, several neighbourhoods and roads are named after Mughal emperors, among other historical figures. An arterial road named after Emperor Aurangzeb was changed to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road in 2015.
In 2018, BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh cleared a proposal to rename Allahabad “Prayagraj”.
In the same year, the over century-old Mughalsarai railway station was renamed after RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.