Rajasthan Education Minister Calls Akbar 'Aatankkari', Shrugs off 'Threat'
From ‘Akbar The Great’ to just Akbar and now ‘Akbar, The Aatankkari’ — that’s how the Mughal emperor’s identity seems to have mutated for Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani.
Emperor Akbar (1542 - 1605) (bottom right), Emperor Jahangir (1569 - 1627) (bottom left). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jaipur: From ‘Akbar The Great’ to just Akbar and now ‘Akbar, The Aatankkari’ — that’s how the Mughal emperor’s identity seems to have mutated for Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani.
Addressing the media on Friday, Devnani called Akbar an ‘aatankkari’ — his way of replying to a letter threatening him with dire consequences for changing the name of Akbar Fort to Ajmer Fort in his Ajmer constituency.
The typed letter was sent by post to the minister’s Ajmer address on December 16 but was received about three weeks ago. The letter, signed as ‘Tarannum Chishti’, threatened Devnani with “strict action” if he did not change the fort’s name back to Akbar Fort. It also asked him to treat people equally and show inclusiveness as a political leader.
The threat letter also found mention in the Assembly on Friday and Devnani said he had handed the letter over to police two weeks ago.
“I had asked for Akbar Fort in Ajmer to be called Ajmer Fort. Since I am a nationalist, I believe wherever there are names of ‘aatankkaris’, they should be changed within the framework of the Constitution,” Devnani said.
"I put forward my point of view from a nationalistic perspective on various issues which is why someone seems to have written this sort of a letter,” he added.
Ajmer Police are now investigating the matter and trying to track down the sender on the basis of the dispatch stamp. “We are inquiring into the matter,” SP Ajmer Nitin Deep told CNN-News18.
The minister has been at the centre of a host of controversies, including dropping the suffix ‘The Great’ from Akbar’s name and adding it to Maharana Pratap’s instead. His emphasis on “indigenous” people of prominence in textbooks over foreigners like Isaac Newton and Pythagoras had also been criticized.
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