Scholars and scribes oppose UP government’s plan to change the name of Allahabad
Allahabad is a name which is there in people’s heart. The government should have focused on the problems faced by the people of the city instead, said famous Hindi writer Mamta Kalia
The writers and educationists of Allahabad have criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his decision to change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj and alleged that it was a ploy of the government to overshadow the actual issue of development of the holy city.
Famous Hindi writer, Mamta Kalia said the name Allahabad is there in people’s heart and no government can remove it from there.
“Allahabad is a name which is there in our heart. The government should have focused on the problems faced by the people of the city instead of concentrating on trivial issue of name-change, which wouldn’t bring any positive change here”, she said.
Adityanath had declared it in a meeting of sadhus on Saturday, October 13 and at a press conference the next day that the name of the city would be changed to Prayagraj before Ardh Kumbh Mela, starting in January next year and Prime Minister Modi would inaugurate the development projects there in December this year.
“The name of Mughalsarai was changed recently. What happened to it? Local people are not going to call it Deendayal Upadhaya Nagar for centuries”, said a writer, Mushtaq Ali.
“Names don’t make much sense when developmental aspects are lacking. What change did they bring in past by changing the names of many places in the country” said Sandhya Navodita, a poetess.
Yash Malviya, a poet asked, “Did people start calling Banaras Varanasi? It is still called Banaras. Changing the name of a city is mere politics and people understand this game very well. We know that the government is trying to divert people’s attention from bigger issues of public interest.”
Prof MP Dubey, Vice Chancellor of Rajarshi Tandon Open University said the change of the name was unnecessary.
“The government is undermining the importance of Prayag by dragging it into a controversy. Local people know Allahabad as Prayag and they never make it an issue. It is since centuries that while generally the city is known as Allahabad but it is called Prayag in religious terms”, said Prof Dubey and pointed out that there would be unnecessary financial burden on the government when it starts changing the names of local institutions, which bear the name ‘Allahabad’.
Incidentally, today (October 15) is 476th birth anniversary of Mughal emperor Akbar, who had established a fort near Sangam-Triveni, the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in 16th Century and called it Ilahabad. This name was derived from Din-i-Ilahi, a new religion he had propounded by uniting the good elements of Hinduism, Islam and other religions. People still pronounce and write it in Hindi as Ilahabad but it is written as Allahabad in English.
However, according to some scholars of mythology, Ilahabad was named after Ila, the daughter of Manu and Shatarupa, the first man and woman on the earth.
Many Historians claim that Shah Jahan had started calling it Allahabad.