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Posted at: Oct 17, 2018, 2:24 AM; last updated: Oct 17, 2018, 11:14 AM (IST)

Allahabad is now Prayagraj, Yogi’s Cabinet renames historic city

Vibha Sharma & Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Lucknow, October 16

While UP CM Yogi Adityanath walked the talk by renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj ahead of the Kumbh Mela, similar demands have been doing the rounds for rechristening “non-Hindu sounding” cities, key among them being Ahmedabad to Karnavati and Bhopal to Bhojpal.

A few days ago, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had reminded PM Narendra Modi of his promise to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati. “All PM Modi has to do is approve what CM Modi recommended to PM,” Swamy tweeted.

Proposals are also there to rename Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, Patna as Patliputra, Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar, Goa as Govapuri, Kerala as Keralam and Nagaland as Naganchi. Some of these demands are attributed to BJP’s ideological fountainhead RSS and ally Shiv Sena. An analyst says a city is renamed on the pretext of increasing “sense of belonging and sending out right message”, though a lot of it has to do with politics and perceptions. “Delhi has Babar Road and no Rana Sanga road because Babar came and won while Rana Sanga lost. It’s time we started reclaiming our own,” said a BJP leader.

While a section wants Patna to be called Patliputra, there are politicians who want Bihar’s capital renamed Azimabad. The demand—apparently to appease Muslims—was made by RJD chief Lalu Prasad in 2007. Patna is said to have been renamed Azimabad around 1704 by Prince Azim-us-Shan. But there were hardly any takers for the changed name and the city was named to its original.

In Lucknow today, Allahabad paved way for Prayagraj after Yogi Adityanath cabinet unanimously endorsed the recommendation.

Ex-judge takes jibe

Former Supreme Court Justice ML Katju, originally from Allahabad, sarcastically urged UP CM to change the name of UP cities to “eliminate names of these Babur ki Aulade (sic) altogether.” In a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, he asked Faizabad to be renamed ‘Narendra Modipur’, Moradabad to ‘Mann ki Baat Nagar’ and Fatehpur to ‘Amit Shah Nagar’.

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