Monday, June 17, 2024

Eyebrows raised as Prakash Ambedkar pays obeisance to Aurangzeb

In a development loaded with political overtones, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president Prakash Ambedkar bowed, offered floral tributes, a ‘chadar of flowers’ and paid obeisance with his head covered at the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, here on Saturday.

Videos and photos of the trip have gone viral on social media platforms as Ambedkar, along with the trustees of the tomb, paid homage at the grave of the much-reviled Emperor Aurangzeb (1618-1707)

The trustees also felicitated Ambedkar even as the political knives were being sharpened elsewhere in the state.

Speaking on the visit, an unfazed Ambedkar said that Aurangzeb ruled the Mughal Empire for almost 50 years (1658-1707) till his death.

“Can that period of history be erased? How Aurangzeb came to power, that has been explained by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar,” countered Prakash Ambedkar.

He said that it was due to Jaichand — a name now synonymous with treason — that the Mughal influence spread from one kingdom to another across India.

“So, condemn Jaichand. Why do you always curse Aurangzeb?” asked Ambedkar in potentially controversial remarks.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) headed by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has not yet reacted to either Prakash Ambedkar’s trip to the Khuldabad tomb of Aurangzeb or his subsequent comments.

The last of the powerful Mughals, Emperor Aurangzeb, was the son of Emperor Shah Jahan and his favourite queen Mumtaz, in whose memory the latter had constructed the monument to love, Taj Mahal, in 1653, which is now a top Wonder of the World.

He died in his army camp in Ahmednagar and was later laid to rest in Khuldabad in a bare, non-decrepit, open-air tomb as per his own wishes, which is frequently visited by many despite brouhaha at regular intervals by certain political parties.

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