Osmania University’s Iconic Library to be Renamed, Alumni Hold Protest

Hyderabad: In a series of name change in the Modi government’s regime, the latest to be added is the Osmania University (OU) library which is all set to be renamed as ‘Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar library.’ The name changing ceremony is scheduled to be held today, wherein a group of alumni will hold a mass protest.

usmania University

As reported in the Deccan Chronicle, since the declaration of the name change, various alumni, historians and members from the founder’s family, the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, have been writing to the Vice-chancellor of OU, S. Ramachandram, Chief Secretary S K Joshi and Governor ESL Narasimhan to intervene and halt this move but to no avail.

Reportedly, the decision to change the name of the century-old library was taken after the administration received multiple appeals from student bodies over the past four years.

A group of alumni have signed a petition demanding immediate steps for rescinding the decision (of name change). The petition states, “Strong opposition is based on the firm belief that a change of name does nothing to advance academic excellence nor does it honour the memory and vision of both the founder of Osmania University or Dr Ambedkar, one of India’s most illustrious sons.” It further states that the name change trend had to end and that miscreants should not be allowed to change the existing name of the OU library.

Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, the grandson of the founder and the President of the Nizam Family Welfare Association,  has also condemned the decision to change the name of the OU library adding that he respects Dr. Ambedkar but the name change is “unnecessary.”

“It is highly deplorable that this unnecessary and short-sighted decision of changing the name of Osmania University library has been taken in such a way without keeping in regard the sentiment of the founder and the students of all castes, creed and religions benefitting from it,” Najaf said.

Adding further, he said, “While it is greatly appreciable that the BR Ambedkar Research Center is being inaugurated, it is appalling and hurtful that tampering with such a historic symbol can even be considered let alone carried out.  If such acts of seemingly harmless “Renaming” continue what will become of the history, heritage and legacy of one of the most iconic heritage structures of Hyderabad.”

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been on a name-changing spree since it came to power. In 2018 alone, it  changed names of almost 25 towns and villages across India. It has even been accused of changing names of places which specifically have a Muslim name or a Muslim association.

Opposition parties have responded by accusing the BJP and the RSS, its parent organisation, of rewriting history in an attempt to extend their cultural influence.

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