A new controversy has arisen in Maharashtra as Moghul tyrant Aurangzeb’s posters were brandished in the Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. The incident has sent the liberal camp into hibernation while Hindu organisations are up in arms demanding action against the culprits. The silence from the so-called secular parties and groups has only added to the displeasure of the nationalist forces.
Imtiyaz Jaleel, the MP from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, has been on hunger strike since March 4, demanding to revoke the renaming of his constituency. However, a faction of his supporters, mainly comprising of the Majalis-e-Ittehad-ul-Musalmeen party workers, went overboard and brandished tyrant Aurangzeb’s posters, much to the chagrin of sensible citizens. They also chanted slogans like “Jab tak suraj chand rahega, Aurangzeb tera naam rahega”. The incident occurred on March 4 afternoon, and soon the images and videos went viral on social media. An offence has been registered against four unidentified persons in the City Chowk Police. The police are on the lookout for them. A red-faced Jaleel claimed that these youths were sent with “malicious intent” to malign his movement.
Union Minister Raosaheb Danave, hailing from neighbouring Jalna, condemned whatever happened at Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. In a series of tweets, BJP Maharashtra Vice President Madhav Bhandari said, “This is a case of glorifying the Hindu-detractor Aurangzeb. Uddhav Thackeray has an alliance with a party that claims to have ideological alliance with the same AIMIM. The same AIMIM corporators had openly helped Uddhav faction’s leader Ambadas Danave. The same AIMIM had supported Uddhav faction in MLC and Rajya Sabha elections.”
Surprisingly enough, the Uddhav Thackeray faction, which bends over backwards to please the ‘minority’ vote bank with its newly found love for secularism, was at the forefront in aiming for the CM Eknath Shinde-led government in the state. Chandrakant Khaire, the former MP and leader of Uddhav Thackeray faction, condemned the incident. However, his political guide Sharad Pawar took a distant stand and questioned the veracity of the news. Talking to various Marathi news channels, he asked, “What is the proof that the images was that of Aurangzeb? Have you seen the real Aurangzeb? Nor did we. Who will say that it was Aurangzeb’s photo?”
On another spectrum, Prakash Ambedkar, leader of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, with which also Uddhav has allied recently, defended the incident. He asked blatantly, “Isn’t Aurangzeb a son of this soil? He was born in the Moghul period. I don’t find anything new in putting up his images. Those who want to create strife among Hindus and Muslims may be speaking against this.”
It is worth noting that the Maharashtra government had recently renamed Aurangabad the Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. The city is Marathwada’s largest city and a central industrial hub. While the earlier name reminded the tyranny and atrocities of the Moghul king, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar is the name given after the second king of the Maratha Empire and the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The city was renamed along with Osmanabad, known as Dharashiv. The decision was taken owing to a longstanding demand from people to remove the remnants of the equally atrocious rule of Nizam of Hyderabad over the region.