This work should be done as soon as possible, Rajnath Singh said

New Delhi: Roads and buildings in defence cantonment boards that are named after British soldiers and officers should be renamed after brave Indian soldiers and makers of modern India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) on Thursday.

The DGDE, which works under the Defence Ministry, manages about 62 cantonment boards across India. Around 20 lakh people live in these cantonment boards.

In his speech at a DGDE event in New Delhi, Rajnath Singh said that even in the 75th year of Indian Independence, there are many roads and buildings in cantonment boards that have been named after British officers and soldiers who were loyal to the British Crown.

"I would like suggest to everyone here that the Defence Ministry as well as DGDE should consider renaming all such roads and buildings after our brave soldiers and makers of modern India," the minister said.

This work should be done as soon as possible, he added.

"I want to clarify that I am not giving this suggestion with an intention to distort history or because of any inferiority complex or ill-will," the minister said. "We should keep in mind that the names of those British soldiers and officers, who have done any kind of commendable work for the region or the country, should be kept as they are (on buildings and roads) and the next generation should be made acquainted with their work," he added.

Public services such as health, sanitation, primary education etc in a defence cantonment area are provided by the DGDE through cantonment boards.