Despite significant protest from the opposition, the city of Allahabad is all set to be renamed as Prayagraj. This comes after CM Yogi stated yesterday that the name of the city would be restored to its earlier name, Prayagraj. Now, according to media reports, the Cabinet has approved the proposal for renaming the city.
This comes at a time when the city is preparing to host the Ardh Kumbh mela in 2019. Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad had been pressing to rename the city to Prayagraj. It is learnt that CM Yogi Adityanath had an hour long meeting with 26 saints representing 13 prominent Akharas across the country. President of the Akhara Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri stated that the proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj was put forward during the meeting with CM Yogi. He confirmed that CM Yogi accepted this proposal put forward by the saints. The meeting had taken place in connection with the preparations for the Ardh Kumbh mela to be held early next year.
Allahabad is a significant city for many reasons. The judicial capital of Uttar Pradesh is the second oldest living city after Varanasi. It has immense spiritual significance for the Hindus and hosts the Maha Kumbh mela, the largest religious gathering in the world, every 12 years and Ardh Kumbh mela every 6 years. Allahabad was originally called Prayag which translates “place of offering”. It comes from the Sangam (holy confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati). Even though formally called Allahabad, the city is widely and commonly referred to as Prayag. It is mentioned in the Vedas as the place where Brahma (creator of the world) attended a sacrificial ritual. The name, Allahabad is actually an imposition of the Mughal rule. Mughal emperor, Akbar gave the name Allahabad to the city meaning the abode of Allah. The Arabic name was therefore an imposition by foreign invaders on the city which was then known as Prayagraj. There have been long standing demands to rename the city and remove the name imposed by the Mughals. The name ‘Allahabad’ does not represent the history and the belief attached to the holy city. In fact, in 2001 the then Chief Minister Rajnath Singh and then governor Vishnu Kant Shastri were strongly in favour of renaming the city as Prayagraj but the same could not be given effect.
In fact, this is not the first time CM Yogi has taken such a step to undo the legacy imposed by certain invaders in the past. Even though the liberal mafia attempted to target and malign CM Yogi to such changes, Yogi, driven by public support, has been undeterred in his untiring attempts to revive the true culture of the state. During his tenure as a member of parliament from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath had made many such changes. There used to be a market called mia bazar in Gorakhpur, its name was changed back to Maya Bazar. Similarly, urdu bazar was renamed as Hindi Bazar and ali nagar was renamed as Arya Nagar. In an interview before the UP elections, before India TV, Yogi Adityanath had made it clear that he will continue to make such changes. He explained that by doing so, nothing is being actually changed or imposed but only the true historical significance of the places in question is being revived. He stated that the names of these places had been changed by outside powers at some point in the history and he was only doing the job of bringing them back to their original identity. He wondered why someone should have any problem if these names which reflect upon excesses in the past are changed.
CM Yogi has thus delivered on what he had promised before the elections. It is clear that he is not going to be bogged down by the extensive propaganda against him. This much awaited decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj is going to usher in an awakening in Uttar Pradesh and the rest of India. CM Yogi has made sure that we stick to our roots and no longer celebrate or tolerate the legacy of Mughal invasion and the oppression of Hindus associated with it.