The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is clearly on a name changing streak. Today, the city of Allahabad have been renamed as Prayagraj, said the minster Siddharth Nath Singh. Earlier in August the iconic Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi had been changed to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) station after the Jan Sangh leader who died in 1968.
Allahabad to be called Prayagraj from today: Uttar Pradesh Minister Siddharth Nath Singh in Lucknow pic.twitter.com/lo021n8rKP
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) October 16, 2018
What’s In A Name ?
Allahabad was called Prayag before 1575. According to some medieval texts including Akbar’s court historian Abul Fazl called it Piyag. In 1575, the city was named Illahabas meaning ‘abode of God’ by the then Mughal Emperor Akbar when he visited the place. Later in the time, it came to be known as Allahabad.
Renamings Under Yogi Adityanath :
The Civil terminals of Indian Air Force’s Gorakhpur airport was renamed after Maha Yogi Gorakhnath, the founder of ‘Nath Pant’.
The Mughalsarai town of Chandauli district was renamed as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Nagar in 2017.
Hazratganj Chauraha , a famous street crossing wasrenamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee to honour the former Prime Minister of the country.
During Yogi’s tenure as MP of Gorakhpur, the names of Ali Nagar, Miya Bazar, Urdu Bazar, Islampur, Lahaladpur and Humayun Nagar were renamed as Arya Nagar, Maya Bazar, Hindi Bazar, Ishwarpur, Alahaladpur and Hanuman Nagar respectively.
In August 2018, Yogi Adityanath led UP government have approached the centre to rename airports of Bareilly as Nath Nagri , Kanpur’s Chakeri airport after freedom fighter Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and Agra airport after the RSS’ Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Adityanath in an interview have also said that he will not hesitate to change the name of ‘Taj Mahal’ to ‘Ram Mahal’.
What does the opposition say ?
Former CM Akhikesh Yadav said that the BJP is mocking our tradition and belief.
राजा हर्षवर्धन ने अपने दान से ‘प्रयाग कुम्भ’ का नाम किया था और आज के शासक केवल ‘प्रयागराज’ नाम बदलकर अपना काम दिखाना चाहते हैं. इन्होंने तो ‘अर्ध कुम्भ’ का भी नाम बदलकर ‘कुम्भ’ कर दिया है. ये परम्परा और आस्था के साथ खिलवाड़ है.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) October 15, 2018
Congress spokesperson Onkar Singh said that the region where Kumbh takes place is already called Prayagraj and if the government is so eager, they can make it a separate city, but the name of Allahabad should not be changed.
BJP state spokesperson Manoj Mishra said in an official statement, “Akbar ki Nishani Ko mita kar pauranik naam dena shreyaskar hai.” (To remove the sign of Akbar and give a historical name is good).”