The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking the constitution of a ‘renaming commission’ to restore “original” names of ancient, cultural and religious places “renamed” by invaders, saying India can’t be a prisoner of the past.
IMAGE: Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Moghul Garden was recently renamed as Amrit Udyan. Photograph: Manvender Vashist Lav/PTI Photo
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna questioned the motive of the PIL filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, saying it will bring alive those issues “which would keep the country on boil”.
The bench said, ”This is a fact that our country was invaded and ruled by a foreign power. We cannot wish out selected part of our history.”
The top court told Upadhyay, ”Our country is secular and Hinduism is a way of life, which has assimilated everyone and there is no bigotry in it.”
It also said the history of the country should not haunt its present and future generations.
Upadhyay had earlier this month filed the PIL, seeking a direction to the Centre, to constitute a ‘renaming commission’ to restore the “original” names of ancient historical, cultural and religious places which were “renamed” by foreign invaders.
While Mughal Garden was recently renamed Amrit Udyan, the government did nothing to rename the roads named after invaders, the PIL said, and contended that the continuation of these names is against the sovereignty and other civil rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The PIL said alternatively, the court may direct the Archaeological Survey of India to research and publish the initial names of ancient historical and cultural religious places, which were renamed by “barbaric foreign invaders” to secure the Right to Information under the Constitution.
The PIL said, “We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of independence but there are many ancient historical cultural religious places in the name of brutal foreign invaders, their servants and family members”.