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If you can’t make history, usurp one
Allahabad is now ‘Prayag Raj’!
By Khadijatul Kubra, Allahabad
|U.P. Chief Minister Rajnath Singh
secured a thumping victory in the Haidergarh assembly by-poll undoubtedly
with the solid support from Muslims, but the reward to the community came
quick in the shape of changing of the name of famous city of Allahabad.
An old-time faithful of the Rashtrya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Rajnath
Singh showed his true colours when he presided over a meeting of the state
cabinet on 19 April in which he approved the blatantly communal demand of
renaming of Allahabad as Prayag Raj. He later told newsmen that the
proposal was being sent to the Centre for necessary formalities as a final
approval is need from the Union Home Ministry now headed by a like-minded
Madras was named as Chennai, Calcutta changed its nomenclature as Kolkata
and similarly Bombay was renamed as Mumbai but they have no communal
bearings unlike Allahabad which was changed to hurt some people and invite
Some claim that Allahabad was called ‘Prayag Raj’ in ancient times,
but there is no reminder to cherish those ancient times as against the
living heritage given by emperor Akbar. The Lal Qila on the bank of the
river still holds a magnificent view and stands as the pride of the city.
The BJP Government had taken the controversy-ridden decision of changing
the name of Allahabad to Prayag Raj at a time when it was not facing any
kind of pressure for it. A few months ago, while welcoming sadhus in the
capital city, the Chief Minister in order to please them had announced
that Allahabad would be Prayag Raj. At that time, people felt that it was
mainly to assuage the hurt feeling of the sadhus who were not happy with
the State Government over the not-so-good arrangement of the Mahakumbh
Mela. With the advent of the BJP at the power, there was an effort by a
section of the people to pronounce Mirzapur, a home district of Mr.
Rajnath Singh as ‘Meerjapur,’ but it remains an unacceptable and an
unappreciated step by the people far and wide.
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