Yogi to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’; Congress protests

Yogi to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’; Congress protests
Allahabad, Oct 15 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 10/15/2018 12:38:31 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement of changing the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj has received a mixed reaction from intellectuals, teachers, literary persons, lawyers and politicians in the Sangam city. While many have welcomed the move, others are calling it a political gimmick just before the Lok Sabha elections.

Saints and seers have however hailed the announcement, maintaining that the name has not been changed but the ancient place has been given its original name. The Akhada Parishad had raised the issue of changing the city’s name last year at a meeting with Adiyanath and he had promised to fulfill their demand by the Kumbh Mela 2019.

There had been attempts to change Allahabad’s name to Prayag during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party governments headed by Rajanath Singh and Kalyan Singh in the state. However, the proposal did not materialize following disapproval by the supporting parties.

With the fresh declaration by the chief minister on Saturday, the proposal will now be presented before the cabinet for approval and will then be forwarded to the governor. However, governor Ram Naik had already given his nod to the proposal at the meeting of the Kumbh Margdarshak Mandal on Saturday.

Welcoming the move, Allahabad University’s medieval and modern history department head Prof Yogeshwar Tiwari said Mughal Emperor Akbar named the city ‘Ilahabas’ in 1574 which later came to be known as Ilahabad and then Allahabad. However, the city has been mentioned as Prayag in ‘ancient sacred texts such as ‘puranas’, ‘Valmiki Ramayan’, Mahabharat and manuscripts of Kalidas, he said, adding the change will help the new generation to understand the history of the city better.

Congress leader Baba Abhay Awasthi said the decision would not make any impact. Prayag was alive even the city was known as Allahabad. The name change by the chief minister does not make any sense, he added.

Writer Mamta Kalia said Allahabad is in the heart of the people and cannot be erased. The government should focus on other problems instead of changing the name, she said.

Advocates Association of India also condemned the decision. Its secretary Rupendra Nath Singh said instead of renaming the while city, only the Triveni and Sangam area should have been named as Prayagraj. The name Allahabad is not connected to a particular religion and instead it was named after Akbar’s new religion Deen-e-Ilahi, he said.

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