by Elton Gomes
Allahabad has been officially renamed as ‘Prayagraj’ on Tuesday. The cabinet of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cleared a proposal today to rename the historic city. “Allahabad will be called Prayagraj from today,” state minister Siddharth Nath Singh said in Lucknow after the Cabinet meeting, Times Now reported.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Singh said, “The renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj before Kumbh Mela came for approval in the meeting and I am happy to say Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj,” as reported by the Indian Express.
CM Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet clears proposal amid protests
CM Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet cleared the proposal amid protests by the opposition parties, including the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. The opposition claims that the renaming is a mere poll ploy. In the meantime, intellectuals, teachers, and the common man have given a mixed response to the renaming.
The Congress argued that Allahabad played an important role in India’s fight for independence and renaming it would reduce its importance.
Congress spokesperson Onkar Singh said that the region where the Kumbh Mela takes place is already called Prayagraj. He added that if the government is so eager, they should make it a separate city, but Allahabad’s name should remain unchanged.
Akhilesh Yadav slams Yogi government
Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Monday attacked the Adityanath government’s move to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Yadav said that the current government was trying to show that they are working by just changing the name of Allahabad.
“… They have even re-named Ardh Kumbh to Kumbh. This is toying with tradition and belief,” the former UP CM said in a tweet.
CM Adityanath has planned events for Prayagraj
Chief Minister Adityanath’s government seems to have elaborate plans for Prayagraj. Adityanath’s cabinet has planned several events for Prayagraj during the Ardh Kumbh in 2019.
After the celebration of the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in Varanasi from January 21-23, UP plans to bring all delegates to the Ardh Kumbh area on January 24-25. Thereafter, the delegates will be taken to New Delhi to witness the Republic Day parade.
UP will celebrate the Matri Shakti Kumbh on December 9 and the Paryavaran Kumbh will be held on December 23 in Varanasi. A Kumbh of the youth in Lucknow will also be held on December 23. Finally, there will be a Sarva Samaveshi Sanskriti Kumbh in Prayagraj on January 30.
Other places that have been renamed
Other than renaming Allahabad, CM Adityanath has had plans to rename several other places in UP. On September 7, 2017, Adityanath announced the renaming of Panki Railway Station in Kanpur as ‘Panki Dham’ Railway Station, wherein dham denoted a sacred place for Hindus.
Later on, in July 2018, the Mughalsarai Railway Station was officially renamed as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction. The central government cleared Adityanath’s request and paid no heed to protests raised in parliament over the issue.
The UP government also decided to rename the civilian terminal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) airport in Gorakhpur after Mahayogi Gorakhnath, the founder of the Nath monastic movement.
It should be noted that during his tenure as MP of Gorakhpur, Adityanath has gone on a name-changing spree: Urdu Bazar as Hindi Bazar, Ali Nagar as Arya Nagar, Miya Bazar as Maya Bazar, Islampur as Ishwarpur, Lahaladpur as Alahaladpur, and Humayun Nagar as Hanuman Nagar.
In April 2016, the Haryana Government decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram, while its neighbouring district Mewat was renamed as Nuh. Confirming the decision, an official spokesperson said that the decision to rename Gurgaon had been taken on the basis of representatives from several forums.
In 2014, the Union Home ministry cleared Karnataka’s proposal to rename Bangalore and Mysore. The ministry confirmed that Bangalore would be officially known as Bengaluru and Mysore would become Mysuru. The decision came on the 69th anniversary of the formation of the state of Karnataka and was lauded by many noted personalities of Karnataka. Moreover, Karnataka alone has renamed a total of 12 cities.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius