The country may have stepped into democracy 67 years ago but New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) apparently wishes to continue with the legacy of princely states as it has refused to remove royal titles from the roads named after former monarchs.
The issue relates to “I Avenue” in Sarojini Nagar and “Canning Road” rechristened as “Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Marg” and “Shrimant Madhav Rao Scindia Marg” in 2002.
RTI activist Subhash Agrawal had recently written to Urban Development Ministry expressing grievance over the inclusion of royal titles in the naming of these roads by NDMC.
The complaint was forwarded to NDMC following which the civic body wrote back to the Ministry strongly supporting the titles which were added during the renaming of the roads and rejected outright any suggestions for removing those.
“The unequivocal decision of the Council is that status quo with respect to the roads named as ‘Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Marg’, ‘Shrimant Madhav Rao Scindia Marg’… Shall be maintained,” say the file notings revealing the response of NDMC.
Sachin Jain, Deputy Director (General Administration), wrote in his response that the decision to pre-fix ‘Shrimant’ before ‘Madhav Rao Scindia Marg’ was taken subsequently.
He also said that while naming roads and buildings after important personalities, due caution is exercised so that the popular titles by which those personalities are known in the public domain are prefixed before their names.
“The New Delhi Municipal Council, after duly deliberating upon the issue raised in your communication, has expressed its dismay over the nature of the captioned grievance citing that in view of the delicate sentiments involved, it should not be open to anybody to raise wishful objections to the road naming activity,” he wrote.
Ironically, in roads named after Emperors like Bahadur Shah Jafar, Ashoka, Aurangzeb, Akbar, etc, NDMC does not add any prefix.