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Hyderabad municipal polls: Spare the Nawab-Nizam culture as part of history

By Devsagar Singh

Hyderabad municipal polls: Spare the Nawab-Nizam culture as part of history

New Delhi, Nov 30:There is nothing wrong with the BJP contesting municipal elections in the southern city of Hyderabad, but its attack on the very soul of the historical city is something that no right thinking Indian will appreciate. “We will eradicate the Nawab-Nizam culture and convert Hyderabad into a modern city. We want to take Hyderabad from dynasty rule towards democracy. We want to make it a progressive city. Give BJP one chance”,  Home Minister Amit Shah is quoted as saying at an election rally in Hyderabad yesterday.

India prides itself as a multi-cultural, multi-lingual democracy. The Nawab-Nizam culture  of Hyderabad is its essence drawn from history just as  ‘Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb’  is  part of North Indian ethos  getting its sustenance  from   Lucknow, the city of Nawabs , and Allahabad (now Prayagraj) the city of  sangam (confluence).  Similarly,  Varanasi is known for its quintessential Hindu religious pilgrimage. Several others cities and towns have their own characteristics   handed down from generations. Visitors to Goa  are specially  shown the Portugese  architecture and influence just as those visiting Varanasi are treated with  temples and ghats that dot river Ganga from times immemorial. In the same vein, today’s Delhi will be nothing without Shahjehan’s  Lal Quila,  Humayun’s Tomb, Lutyen’s bunglow zones and the  Rashtrapati Bhavan which was the Viceregal Lodge of the British.

History must not be consigned  to the dustbin of politics. It will be a dangerous and foolish exercise.  Can BJP visualize an Agra without Taj Mahal or Hyderabad without the Char Minar? Elections will come and go. They must not be used to change history. What does one get by changing  the name of Hyderabad to Bhagyanagar as promised  by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in one of his election meetings recently?

BJP’s ambition to rule South India is understandable. After Karnataka, it has set its sight on the neighbouring Telengana where it got a foothold by winning two assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat recently. Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and its downright communal politics maybe beckoning the BJP followers of Hyderbad to respond . But BJP is a national party with an all-India base and is the ruling party at the Centre. It should not stoop to the level of the AIMIM. The manner in which  national leaders of the BJP have been fielded for a local body poll, however,   it is clear that the saffron party has gone overboard. It is, pehaps, for the first time that a national party is fielding its top leaders for a purely local poll. Even Mumbai municipal election has not witnessed this kind of contest with all its political and financial heft.

It is, pehaps, time a national debate is launched to protect the assets of history which no political party is able to vandalize. The responsibility falls on the media and the academia apart from a vast reservoir of thinking Indians across the country.  The BJP must understand that it has no monopoly over history of this great country and attempts at forcefully changing it would be met with stiff resistence. Looking at everything with the prism of politics does no good to BJP either. It runs the risk of losing large number of sympathisers who got drawn to it because of the Congress party’s obnoxious vote bank politics .

 

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