How will you feel if someone changes your name just because they don’t find it apt anymore? A bit discomforting and shocking, isn’t it? After all, it is the first identity that not only defines a person but a place as well.
Uttar Pradesh government has been following this name-changing parampara for quite some time now. Every famous city which the government finds unrelated to Hinduism is changed.
So basically, cities with names of Allah or Akbar or any Mughal Emperor has been changed or is about to get changed. The reason given by the BJP leaders for the latest name-change spree is to cleanse what the Mughals had sullied.
Recently, Shashi Tharoor was seen in a standup comedy show, where he mentioned this new trend of India which is changing names of cities. In the show, he joked that the reason why he chose Thiruvananthapuram is the fact that it has “Ram” at the end and hence won’t get changed by Yogiji.
Renaming Is The New Trend
The trend of renaming cities is not new in the country. Bombay was changed to Mumbai, Madras was renamed as Chennai and Calcutta became Kolkata. Also one of the major mentions was Bangalore has been changed to Bengaluru.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath is obsessed with changing names. In the past, he has changed the names of various cities. Not only Uttar Pradesh but many BJP-ruled states, the government is changing names of the cities and railway stations.
Allahabad was officially named as Prayagraj just before the Kumbh Mela. After Allahabad, Mughalsarai junction was renamed as the Deendayal Upadhyaya junction. Before that, Mughalsarai town itself was renamed after Upadhyaya. Aurangzeb road in Delhi was renamed A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
Why is renaming a city more important than other matters in the country?
The answer to this question given by some leaders is, it will help to reclaim Indian culture and heritage.
This is not the only reason if we look deep in the matter, a political pot is also burning behind this renaming culture. The BJP is trying to pit “Hindu pride” against Muslim invaders.
This trend is increasing day by day and many more cities are lined up for renaming. Ahmedabad will be renamed Karnavati. Agra will be named Agravan, Patna will become Patliputra and Pune will be known by the name of Jijapur.
A lot of cities will be renamed in Maharashtra; Aurangabad, Osmanabad, and Khultabad will be renamed as Sambhaji Nagar, Dhrashiv and Ratnaprabha respectively. BJP leader Sangeet Som wants Muzaffarnagar to be named as Laxminagar.
The Mughal Obsession
The main reason for renaming all these cities, like Agra is that they are related to Mughal emperors. BJP leader, Sangeet Som said:
“The Mughals destroyed things related to the Hindu religion. In 1633, a nawab named Muzaffar Ali changed the name of the town. We have to reclaim and retain our cultural roots.”
He was even caught up in a controversy which said:
“Taj Mahal was built by traitors.”
Can you believe that? By that means half of the monuments in India are made by traitors then. In an interview with Outlook India, a Delhi-based historian, Syed Irfan Habib said the move to change names is politically motivated.
” The purpose is clear. It is to polarise the majority. Demands are being made to change Muslim names. They want to show Muslim rulers and the Mughals as symbols of the oppressive rule; as raiders who indulged in genocide.”
The fact looks true as well. The cities like Agra, which had names inspired by the Mughals are only being changed. None of the Hindu names have been changed, hence it is symbolic that there is something fishy about this.
India’s economy is going down day by day. The nation’s capital Delhi is suffering from the worst air pollution of all time. There are so many other cases that should be the priority of the country. But the BJP government seems to be most interested in changing names as if the nation is a baby.
Maybe it’s just for fun or political reason but the government should definitely focus on other matters as well apart from just changing the name. Changing the name of the city from Agra to Agravan will not solve any of the matters of the nation.