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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 Mr Advani.

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 controversy.

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.
Also see Irfan’s punchline

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