Since ages Ajmer fort was known by the acronym ‘Akbar ka Qila’. But recently it has been re-labelled to 'Ajmer ka Qila and Sangrahalaya' in 2015 without a noise. The alteration was made on the verbal orders of the sub-divisional magistrate on the advice of a BJP Rajasthan Minister and an RSS member.
No expert committee was involved in the decision. No verification by the panel of academics. Just by the order of Rajasthan education minister, Vasudev Devnani, name of a historical monument is changed quietly. Vasudev Devnani is the same minister who has made the ‘famous’ statement on cow dung offering protection against radioactivity and cows exhaling oxygen. The fort which was built by Akbar in 1570 was left untouched even when the Rathors, Marathas and the British ruled the state.
The original name of the Ajmer Fort was sanctioned legally by a Gazette notification in December, 1968. It was named as ‘Akbar ka Qila’ or ‘Daulat Khana’. No changes were made to the name ever since then.
It was only after the intervention of Rajasthan Minister, Vasudev Devnani that the name of the historical monument was changed to ‘Ajmer ka Qila’. The sub-divisional magistrate furthered the verbal orders to change the name of the fort, which now reads ‘'Ajmer ka Qila and Sangrahalaya'.
Even the textbooks were changes following the 2015 amendment. Even the suffix ‘Great’ was dropped from the name of the Mughal emperor, Akbar.
Devnani defended his decision to change the name of the historic fort.
"The renaming was done to respect the sentiments of the general public. This fort has always been named after the historic city of Ajmer, which has existed since the 9th century (AD), and nothing has been changed in the fort — the garden, arches, galleries etc.
Above all, the structure has nothing which personally belonged to Akbar," he was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
History tells a different story to Devnani’s claims.
The oldest reference of the fort is found in the journal of Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador of King James I of England to the Mughal court. When Thomas Roe asked Jahangir for the piece of land in Deccan, he addressed the fort as ‘Akbar’s Palace’. A manuscript is place on the second entrance wall in ‘Hindvi’ script which reads 'Akbar-Ki-Qila'. The script dates back to 300 years ago.