NAME CHANGES A POINT­LESS EX­ER­CISE

The New Indian Express - - EDITORIAL -

Aday af­ter Ut­tar Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath an­nounced that Faiz­abad would be re­named Ay­o­d­hya and that a new air­port in the town would be named af­ter Lord Ram, Gu­jarat Chief Min­is­ter Vi­jay Ru­pani said Ahmed­abad would be re­named Kar­na­vati. The de­ci­sion to change the name of Ay­o­d­hya comes days af­ter Al­la­habad was re­named Praya­graj and Mughal­sarai, a ma­jor train junc­tion, was re­named Deen Dayal Upad­hyay junc­tion. In fact, when Adityanath was a par­lia­men­tar­ian from Go­rakh­pur, he changed the names of sev­eral lo­cal­i­ties in his con­stituency. Urdu Bazar be­came Hindi Bazar and Ali Na­gar be­came Arya Na­gar. Sim­i­larly, Is­lam­pur was re­named Ish­warpur and Hu­mayun Na­gar, Hanu­man Na­gar. Two years ago in Delhi, there was a clam­our from the BJP, to which both Adityanath and Ru­pani be­long, to change the name of Au­rangzeb Road in the heart of the na­tional cap­i­tal be­cause in the party’s view, the Mughal ruler was a tyrant. The party had its way and the name was changed to honour the late Pres­i­dent A P J Ab­dul Kalam.

The an­nounce­ments were pre­dictably de­nounced by the op­po­si­tion par­ties. The more un­char­i­ta­ble called the changes a re­sult of ‘Tugh­laqi far­maan’. That all the towns, roads and lo­cal­i­ties whose names were changed have an Is­lamic con­nec­tion be­trays a patently com­mu­nal mind­set. While such moves pan­der to the sen­ti­ments of rightwing el­e­ments, they have no sig­nif­i­cance for the com­mon peo­ple, whose main con­cerns re­main jobs, ed­u­ca­tion and health. For Del­hi­ites and even vis­i­tors, Con­naught Place re­mains CP al­though the late Prime Min­is­ter P V Narasimha Rao re­named the iconic mar­ket­place as Ra­jiv Chowk. The same is the case with Paran­the­wali Gali in old Delhi. Al­though only a few shops in the lane sell ‘paran­thas’ to­day, the name has stuck be­cause the lo­cals are against any change. Clearly, the po­lit­i­cal class would do well if it con­cen­trated on the busi­ness of gov­er­nance in­stead of such point­less ex­er­cises.

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