'Aurangazeb expo aimed at promoting enmity'

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Chennai, Mar 7 (UNI) Welcoming the closing down of an exhibition on Mughal emperor Aurangazeb at the Lalit Kala Akademi here, Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali today alleged that the expo was organised to promote enmity among various groups and vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of co-existence of religions in Tamil Nadu.

''The exhibition was a complete diatribe against Aurangazeb, organised by a Muslim-hating columnist, totally biased and one-sided in its presentation and calculated to stir up feelings of ill-will and animosity towards the minority community for the alleged acts and omissions of a ruler who lived centuries ago,'' he alleged in a statement.

Claiming that the expo sought to portray the emperor as an ''iconoclast, dictator, bigot and ruthless ruler,'' he said the paintings seemed to dwell only on Aurangazeb's alleged misdeeds and not a word about his many contributions of lands and grants to Hindu temples. The monarch's acts were presented torn out of their historical context, he claimed.

He said there was no doubt that all right thinking people interested in the promotion of communal harmony, secularism and national integration would welcome the decision of the police to close down such an ''inflammatory and prejudiced'' exhibition. This would go a long way in preventing untoward incidents and maintain brotherhood and respect for each other's religion, he added.

Yesterday, the exhibition was abruptly closed down in the wake of some Muslim outfits and Hindu organisations failing to see eye to eye on some of the portraits on display and the police fearing that it could whip up communal passions. The Prince of Arcot, who visited the exhibition, had expressed displeasure over the paintings.

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