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Gen SK Sinha revives 'Pataliputra' call

Former Jammu & Kashmir Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha, has revived his demand for restoring to Patna “its old and glorious name of Pataliputra”.

patna Updated: Jan 13, 2010 17:10 IST
Rai Atul Krishna
Rai Atul Krishna
Hindustan Times

Former Jammu & Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha, has revived his demand for restoring to Patna “its old and glorious name of Pataliputra”.

In an open letter addressed to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he has pointed that the long-pending demand for renaming Patna had not been addressed even though Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta as Kolkata, Madras as Chennai, Bangalore as Bengaluru while Trivandrum became Thiruvananthapuram during the intervening years.

Sinha said he had collected one lakh signatures in support of the demand as part of a campaign he started in 1984. The proposal to rename Patna as Pataliputra was approved unanimously by the PMC and the Bihar Cabinet during Bindeshwari Dubey’s chief ministership.

“The State Government vide its letter dated September 5, 1986 sent this proposal to the Government of India. I interacted with the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and found his response positive,” he recalled. But later, the idea was dropped.

“Pataliputra was the leading city of the world in its time, highly praised by Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador and Fahien, the Chinese pilgrim. It was the capital of India for nearly one thousand years. No other city in the world has a greater claim to be restored its name than Patna,” Sinha argued.

He also suggested the construction of a Gateway of India-like Civilisation Gate (Sabhyata Dwar) on the bank of river Ganga near the City SP’s residence to depict how civilization travelled to different parts of the world by sea from the river port of Pataliputra. “We could also develop the riverfront of the city with a road from Digha to Sabalpur like the Marine Drive in Mumbai,” he added.

Gen Sinha also suggested the location of a large model of the ancient city of Pataliputra at the site of the Buddha Smiriti Park in Patna. “A sound and light programme on the history of Pataliputra could also be organissed at that site," he said.

Alternatively, a good film on the history of Pataliputra could be shown.

“The implementation of these suggestions will make Patna a leading metropolitan city and the pride of not only Bihar but the whole of India”, Gen Sinha concluded.

First Published: Jan 13, 2010 17:08 IST