Faiz­abad was built from scratch by the new nawab as cap­i­tal of Awadh. The word Awadh it­self is a trib­ute to Ay­o­d­hya. “There was no an­cient past be­ing erased. The very names call up a his­tory of con­flu­ence,” says cul­tural the­o­rist Ran­jit Hoskote

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - SUNDAY SPECIAL -

Faiz­abad has been the point of ori­gin of Avadh’s ganga-ja­muni tehzib that trav­elled to Luc­know with Nawab Asa­fud­daulah, while Ay­o­d­hya has al­ways nur­tured the tra­di­tion of vid­hwa band­hutwa (global har­mony)”, says Shah Alam, writer, and founder of the Ay­o­d­hya Avam ka Cin­ema move­ment. It is in­ac­cu­rate by any mea­sure — the geo­graph­i­cal bound­aries of the epic Ay­o­d­hya might have to stretch to other dis­tricts of Bara­banki, Gonda, Basti, Sul­tan­pur and Bahraich, part of the 84 kosi parikrama, he points out.

Mean­while, the new city cre­ated by Ak­bar was called Ila­habas, the abode of the di­vine (rather than specif­i­cally Al­lah) — and Prayag refers to a spe­cific sa­cred spot, where the rivers Ganga and Ya­muna meet, points out Hoskote. Set­tle­ments were not built on top of each other, but along­side, he points out, and the na­ture of In­dian cul­ture is of a palimpsest, lay­ers, rather than one thing forcibly rub­bing out an­other. This change is a “wil­ful mis­read­ing of his­tory and an as­sault on the lived ex­pe­ri­ence”, he says.

What’s more, the name we use de­pends on the con­text. We might say Prayag in a rit­ual or cer­e­mo­nial con­text, but say Al­la­habad to re­fer to the town. “We would say Mum­bai while speak­ing Marathi, Bom­bay if

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.