‘BJP should change Shah’s name because of its Persian origin’
Agra: Amid the name-changing spree of BJP governments in various states, eminent historian Irfan Habib has said that the first name the party should consider changing is that of its chief
Shah. “His surname ‘Shah’ is of Persian origin and not of Gujarati,” he said.
The 87-year-old Aligarh Muslim University professor emeritus added, “Even the term Gujarat itself is of Persian origin. It was called Gurjaratra earlier. They should also change it.”
Habib said, “The BJP governments’ renaming spree is very much in line with the RSS’s Hindutva policy. Just like the neighbouring country Pakistan where everything that is not Islamic has been removed, BJP and right-wing supporters want to change things which are non-Hindu, particularly of Islamic origin.”
He was reacting to five-term BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg’s letter to state chief minister Yogi Adityanath, requesting him to rename the city of Taj as ‘Agravan’ as the city is home to the Agrawal community, who are the followers of Maharaja Agrasen. Speaking with TOI, the law- maker said, “The term Agra has no meaning. Nearly 5,000 years ago, the entire belt close to Yamuna was a densely forested area and people knew it as Agravan, which finds mention in Mahabharata too. Later, during the Mughal regime, the city was renamed as Akbarabad.”
“The government should rename it to Agravan for another reason. Agra city is the biggest home to the Agrawal community and they are the followers of Maharaja Agrasen, who once ruled Agravan. Over four lakh Agrawals live in the city of Taj,” the MLA said.
Meanwhile, UP cabinet minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday urged the ruling party to first rename its Muslim leaders before setting out to change names of cities and districts. “Since the government is changing Muslim names, so it should also rename its Muslim leaders. Mohsin Raza, who is in UP cabinet, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. BJP is doing this only to distract attention from real issues like unemployment, poverty etc,” Rajbhar said, adding that Muslims had given the country great pieces of architecture like the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.