Mumbai: Confusion over Mohammed Ali Road caused uproar again

Jan 11, 2019, 13:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

BMC to verify after whom is Mohammed Ali Road named - a poet-journalist and Khilafat movement leader Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar (1873-1931) or the famous 19th-century philanthropist Nakhuda Mohammed Ali Rogay.

Mumbai: Confusion over Mohammed Ali Road caused uproar again
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Mohammed Ali Road, in South Mumbai, is famous for its food during Ramzan, is known for its chaotic food stalls and lanes. But now it has stirred a different confusion and chaos altogether. The BMC has been asked to clear the confusion and come up with an answer about which Mohammed Ali out of two— Nakhuda Mohammed Ali Roghe or Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar -- the road is named after.

This being an old issue has surfaced again, when a group of Urdu writers met Congress MLA Amin Patel to get BMC to verify after whom is Mohammed Ali Road named - a poet-journalist and Khilafat movement leader Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar (1873-1931) or the famous 19th-century philanthropist Nakhuda Mohammed Ali Rogay.

“I have asked BMC to check records and end the confusion. We want to develop the stretch as a cultural hub,” said Patel, Congress MLA who was responsible to beautify the Mohammed Ali Jauhar Chowk on the road with LED lights. “We are checking records and will soon find out which Mohammed Ali this road was named after,” said Prakash Jakate, municipal secretary.

According to the TOI, Saeed Hameed, an Urdu writer-journalist part of the delegation that met Patel, said: "The confusion should be removed." Scholar Zaheer Ali objected to speculation that the road was named after Jauhar as in his recent book on Khilafat, he wrote that the road is “named after Nakhuda Mohammed Ali Rogay who immensely contributed to the city.”

Ali said, “How the British could have allowed it to be named after Jauhar, who opposed imperialism?” to which Abdus Sattar Dalvi, Urdu scholar Prof as a part of his research for his book on the socio-cultural history of Mumbai’s Muslims, concluded Jauhar it was.

Jauhar, in his last speech at the Round Table Conference in London, said: “I would even prefer to die in a foreign country, so long as it is a free country; and if you do not give us freedom in India you will have to give me a grave here.” In 1391, after his death, his body was sent to Jerusalem and buried near the Masjid e Aqsa.

Abdus Sattar Dalvi said, “Two corporators in the pre-Independence era, A R Dimtimker and A L Curtey, demanded that Sydenham Road to be renamed after Jauhar as the Khilafat movement was headquartered in the city. Sydenham Road was thus divided into two parts.”

Crawford Market to Minara Masjid near Bhendi Bazaar, the stretch was renamed as Mohammed Ali Road, without the 'Maulana' at the beginning and 'Jauhar' at the end, and the stretch from Minara Masjid to JJ Circle was renamed as Ibrahim Rahmatullah Road.

The two groups are now awaiting the BMC’s reply regarding the name confusion of Mohammed Ali road.

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