“Name changing is an attempt to demolish the idea of India we grew up with. It’s an assault on the country’s composite Ganga Jamuna culture and trying to tell Muslims they don’t belong here. But be sure it is as much my country as yours. We are just not going anywhere”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister MEHBOOBA MUFTI had an impassioned response on social media to news of more name changes mandated by the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this week, the state cabinet approved the renaming of Allahabad and Faizabad as Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively. Other cities are waiting eagerly in the wings. Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said, could become Karnavati before the general election. While name changes have been mooted for Agra and Hyderabad among others. The ‘tehzeeb’ Mufti recalled so fondly appears passé. But even the BJP’s allies rolled their eyes at the name changes. A ‘glorious’ past, however romanticised, cannot be resuscitated by the symbolic changing of names. Nor can history be so easily erased. So what, many are asking, is the point?