A few days ago, Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah, visited Bhagyalakshmi temple in the old city of Hyderabad. He also supported the popular demand of renaming the city as Bhagyanagar. “Some people were asking me if Hyderabad can be renamed as Bhagyanagar. I said — why not?” he said.
So, the question arises why the centuries-old Bhagyalakshmi temple of Goddess Laxmi is being hotly debated during the Greater Hyderabad Municipal election? Well, Bhagyalakshmi temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi is located adjacent to Charminar, a monument that symbolizes the Nizami culture of Hyderabad.
And, right to worship at the centuries-old temple has been a rallying point for the Hindus in the Muslims dominated the city. Muslims majority of the city has very often harassed the Hindus regarding prayer at the temple. In 1979, after an armed group seized the Holy Mosque in Mecca, MIM called for a ‘bandh’ in the old city. However, as Diwali was approaching, Hindu shopkeepers asked for allowing them to offer prayer in the temple, but the Muslims miscreants desecrated the temple.
Also, in 1983, after the banner for the celebration of Ganesh festival was put at the temple, the Muslims again attacked it, claiming that the temple authorities were expanding the premises.
The Muslims have regularly harassed the Hindus for offering prayer at the temple, and therefore, it has become a rallying point for the Hindus of the city of Hyderabad. Given the fact the temple predates the Nizami culture and Muslims monuments, the Hindus of Hyderabad want it to be named as Bhagyanagar. The city of Mumbai, which was previously known as Bombay, was named after the Goddess Mumbai Devi, whose temple has been there in the city since centuries.
The city of Hyderabad also needs to be renamed and the regular harassment of Hindus must end. Before Amit Shah, Yogi Adiitynath repeated his previous promise of renaming the city as Bhagyanagar. Previously, in a campaign during the 2018 Telangana assembly election, Yogi said, “BJP has taken up the mantle of establishing Ram Rajya and Telangana too should play a role in this.” He had said this to a large gathering at Begum Bazar, less than 2 km from the headquarters of Assaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). CM Yogi further said, “And if you are keen to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar, then vote for BJP.”
Restoring the original names of cities is very important. Invaders and colonizers used to change the names of places in order to dilute the identity associated with those places. When a place loses its name, along with that it also loses its history, culture, identity and pride. If someone dilutes our identity, it becomes easier for anyone to colonize our minds. Our entire history revolves around Muslim dynasties and British rule.
There are millions of Indians who feel ashamed of talking about their ancient culture. Restoring the names of these cities is a step towards decolonizing the young minds, and to correct the wrongs of the past. Restoring the old name of Hyderabad would be a big step towards restoring the Hindu heritage of the state.