Mughal Gardens – Name Changed, But Why?

Markandey Katju

Markandey Katju

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The country had unprecedented economic prosperity during Mughal rule, and this prosperity was enjoyed by all Indians, including Hindus

Recently the name of Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan (the official residence of the President of India) has been changed by the Govt of India to Amrit Udyan.

The reason given is that the word ‘Mughal’ is a symbol of slavery.

Mughal Garden, Rashtrapati Bhavan

But were Indians slaves during Mughal rule?

I submit that far from being slaves, Indians benefited greatly by rule of the Mughals, as India witnessed unprecedented economic prosperity during this rule, and it enjoyed about 25% of the world’s GDP and trade, making it the richest country in the world.

It is alleged by some that (1) the Mughals were foreigners, not Indians, and (2) their aim was to loot India.

As regards the first, it must be pointed out that though Babur who invaded India in 1526 was a foreigner, his grandson Akbar was very much an Indian,as he was born in India, and lived all his life here. (See paragraphs 47-58 of the judgement)

The Great Akbar

Realising that India is a country of great diversity, he gave equal respect to all people here, whether Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc, and declared his policy of suleh-e-kul, or universal toleration of all religions (at a time when Europeans were massacring each other in the name of religion).

As regards the second, I have already pointed out above that far from looting India, the country had unprecedented economic prosperity during Mughal rule, and this prosperity was enjoyed by all Indians, including Hindus, and not limited to Muslims.

The real objection is that the Mughals were Muslims, and it is hatred for Muslims which fuels the ruling political party in India, and which has brought it to power.

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That is why it is claimed that India became free in 1947 after 1000 years of slavery. But is that assertion true?

I submit it is untrue for the period when India was under Mughal rule (or even the earlier Sultanate rule), it is true only for the period when India was under British colonial rule under which huge wealth was taken away from India to England, our massive handicraft industry almost totally destroyed, the people working in them made destitute, and our share in world trade reduced from 25% during Mughal rule, to 2% at the end of British rule.

Also Read: Indian Subcontinent – Current Historical Situation

Thus the real reason for changing the name of Moghul Gardens, like changing the names of Allahabad (changed to Prayagraj), Moghulsarai Junction (changed to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction), Faizabad (changed to Ayodhya), etc, is to get political mileage, by showing Indian (meaning Hindu) liberation from the foreigners (meaning Muslims).


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Markandey Katju

Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.

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