Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Monday renamed the under-construction Mughal Museum in Agra after Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The chief minister asked officials at a meeting how Mughals could be “our heroes”, according to a government statement.
The decision to rename the museum was taken at a meeting to review development work in Agra and the coronavirus situation.
“The museum under construction in Agra will be known by the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Adityanath tweeted after the meeting. “The symbols of slavery have no place in the new Uttar Pradesh. Our hero is Shivaji Maharaj. Jai Hind Jai Bharat.”
The chief minister added that associating Shivaji’s name with the project would invoke a feeling of nationalism and self-esteem.
The foundation stone of the museum had been laid by the Samajwadi Party government in 2016. The cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 141.89 crore, The Hindu reported, citing government data.
The Adityanath-led government renamed several places in 2018, most notably the city of Allahabad, which is now known as Prayagraj. The decision was strongly criticised by opposition leaders. In June that year, the Adityanath administration renamed the iconic Mughalsarai railway station as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction, after the Jan Sangh leader.
In August, the government proposed renaming the Bareilly airport after ‘Nath Nagri’, which is believed to be the mythological name of the city. Adityanath is a member of the Nath sect. The proposal had also recommended renaming Kanpur’s Chakeri airport after freedom fighter Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and the Agra airport after Deen Dayal Upadhyay.