History Cannot Haunt The Present: SC While Dismissing Plea Seeking Renaming Of Places Named After 'Barbaric Foreign Invaders'
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking to constitute a "Renaming Commission" to find out original names of ancient historical cultural religious places, named after "barbaric foreign invaders".
“India was invaded several times, can you wish away invasions. Country has so many problems to attend to. You want to burden the Home Ministry?” asked a Bench comprising Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna that was hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Union Home Ministry to constitute a Renaming Commission.
“India is a secular state. You want to go back and keep it under boil. We are not allowing you to withdraw it,” said Bench while declining Upadhyay’s request for withdrawal and thereby enabling him to pursue the representation made by him to the Union Home Ministry.
“We are therefore of the view that the reliefs which are sought should not be granted under Article 32 by this Court which is a guardian of the Constitution. Preamble gives us the guiding light in this direction,” said the Court while dismissing the petition.
The Court observed that India i.e. Bharat, in terms of the Preamble, is a secular country. This has been upheld by a 9-judges Bench in SR Bommai case.
“History of any nation cannot haunt the present and future of the nation, that the succeeding generations become prisoners of the past. The golden principle of fraternity is of the greatest importance and rightfully finds a place in the Preamble. It means that harmony alone will lead to the togetherness of the country,” said the Court.
Right to dignity, right to identity, right to preserve culture, right to religion and right to know are involved, said Upadhyay, the petitioner-in-person, responding to the Bench's query as to what fundamental rights are involved in the case.
The Court also did not agree with Upadhyay's submission that the issue of restoration of religious places has also been referred to a 3-judge Bench.
“Places of Worship Act has not nothing to do with roads. That's completely different,” orally observed the Bench.
The PIL also sought direction to the Archaeological Survey of India to research and publish the initial names of ancient historical cultural religious places, which were renamed by barbaric foreign invaders.
As per the plea, the cause of action accrued on January 29, 2023, when Mughal Garden was renamed as Amrit Garden, but the government did nothing to rename the roads named after invaders like Babur Road, Humayun Road, Akbar Road, Jahangir Road, etc.
“It is necessary to state that the Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians and the Hon'ble Judges, who are custodian of the Constitution of India and protector of fundamental rights have the bungalow on these roads,” said the plea.
“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,” said the plea.
The petition said that invaders not only renamed the general places but also deliberately changed the names of ancient historical cultural religious places, and their continuation after 75 years of Independence is against sovereignty, right to dignity, right to religion and right to culture guaranteed under Articles 21, 25, 29. But successive governments have not taken steps to correct the barbaric act of invaders and the injury is continuing, the plea said.
Cause Title- Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Ors.