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Home / Lucknow / Name-change politics is not new to UP

Name-change politics is not new to UP

What is there in a name? ‘A lot’ will be the answer of state’s politicians who have indulged in the politics of name-change over the years in Uttar Pradesh.

lucknow Updated: Oct 17, 2018 13:22 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
About a year after renaming Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and Kumbh as the Maha Kumbh, the state cabinet on Tuesday named Allahabad as Prayagraj.
About a year after renaming Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and Kumbh as the Maha Kumbh, the state cabinet on Tuesday named Allahabad as Prayagraj.
         

What is there in a name? ‘A lot’ will be the answer of state’s politicians who have indulged in the politics of name-change over the years in Uttar Pradesh.

About a year after renaming Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and Kumbh as the Maha Kumbh, the state cabinet on Tuesday named Allahabad as Prayagraj.

As demands for more such changes are being made in different parts of the state the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj may just be the beginning of more such changes in the coming days in the state.

The Yogi government has already named Mughalsarai city and railway junction after the name of BJP ideologue Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay. A demand to rename Faizabad as Saket is already being made. There has been a demand to change name of Aligarh as Harigarh. BJP leaders in Aligarh have been seen riding on vehicles having Harigarh written on them. Bihar governor Lalji Tandon in his book ‘An Kaha Lucknow’ has said the original name of Lucknow was Lakhanpuri. So, the demand to rename Lucknow is bound to find support in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP.

“Names that are symbols of Gulami (slavery) should be changed with the names of patriots,” said Prabhu Narain, the Awadh Prant Sanghchalak of the RSS.

Will the state government consider more such changes? “As of now the state cabinet has decided to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj,” said minister for medical and health Siddharth Nath Singh, who had taken up the demand of renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj at various levels. Singh had written letters to chief minister Yogi Adityanath and governor Ram Naik as well on the issue.

Yogi Adityanath government had also changed names of many projects/schemes after its installation in March 2017. It had dropped prefix ‘Samajwadi’ from the Purvanchal Expressway project of Akhilesh Yadav government. Despite UPA government’s objections the SP government had named the ambulance service as the Samajwadi Ambulance Swasthya Sewa. Besides dropping the prefix ‘Samajwadi’ from the ambulance service, the BJP government replaced ‘Samajwadi’ with ‘Mukhya Mantri’ in the government’s pension scheme.

This is however not for the first time that changes have been made in the name of a city, institution or scheme in the state. In the last two decades, successive state governments have been indulging in changing names of institutions, schemes, projects and districts.

The Samajwadi Party government had decided to reverse a number of BSP government’s decisions on change of names. The SP government decided to restore the name of the state’s prestigious medical university as King George’s Medical University that Mayawati government had renamed as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University. Eight districts that the Mayawati government had named after BSP ideologues were also given their original names.