What is there in a name? Ask Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav who has decided to rename Akbarpur town as Lohia Nagar after the Samajwadi Party ideologue Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. Incidentally Akbarpur houses district headquarters of Ambedkar Nagar named after the architect of Constitution and Bahujan Samaj Party ideologue Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
By renaming Akbarpur Chief Minister has obviously tried to counter move of his predecessor Mayawati who had created the new district and named it Ambedkar Nagar. A demand to rename Akbarpur as Lohia Nagar though was being raised time and again. This was there when the then Chief Minister Mayawati created new district with its headquarters at Akbarpur that became popular for being in the vicinity of Shahjadpur the birthplace of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia.
This is not for the first time that Chief Minister has resorted to politics of names. His predecessor Mayawati was the first in recent years to resort to renaming politics in UP. Now Mulayam government has undone most of her renaming decisions with latest being the decision to re-christen Mahamaya Nagar district as Hathras yet again in June 2006. Mayawati had created new district by carving out areas around Hathras on May 6, 1997 and named it as Mahamaya Nagar.
Later when senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalyan Singh took over reigns of governance from Mayawati he decided to revert back to name of Hathras. When Mayawati took over as state chief minister again she decided to rename the district as Mahamaya Nagar on July 25, 2002. Other districts that she named after BSP’s ideologues included Jyotiba Phule Nagar and Sant Ravi Das Nagar etc.
Chief Minister had earlier decided to revert back to name of Lucknow’s premier medical college that became the King George Medical University. Mayawati had renamed the university after another BSP ideologue Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had earlier announced to rename the Lucknow University after former chief minister Chandra Bhanu Gupta. Chief Minister however has not been able to implement this announcements following protests from university’s teachers and staff.
This is not to say that universities have not been named after other politicians. Other universities renamed after leaders include Chaudhary Charan Singh University Meerut, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University, Faizabad, Acharya Narendra Agriculture University Faizabad, Bhimrao Ambedkar University Agra, Deen Dayal Upadhyay University Gorakhpur, Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University Kanpur, Mahatama Jyotiba Phule University Rohilkhand Bareilly and Vir Bahadur Poorvanchal University Jaunpur.
Email Umesh Raghuvanshi: firstname.lastname@example.org