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Uprety Ajay | HENB | Lucknow | Oct 17, 2018:: For furthering its ‘cultural agenda of Hindutva’, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has officially changed the name of the sacred city of Allahabad to Prayagraj+, just ahead of the upcoming Parliament polls.
Through this change on name, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is trying to send a message to seers and supporters of Hindutva that though temple construction at the disputed sit of Ayodhya was not progressing to their satisfaction and somehow beyond their control, the BJP government was not refraining from its commitment of propagating the Hindutva agenda in a secondary line of action.
After losing three important Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh —Kairana, Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the BJP strategists feel that they should strongly pursue the Hindutva agenda to garner political mileage ahead of the polls.
However, the party does not see it as a political move and its leader Dr Amit Puri said that changing the name of Allahabad was a matter of faith and not about any politics.
Soon after assuming power in the state, the Yogi government had started name-changing to appease a large section of its supporters. For instance, it changed the name of Mughalsarai city and railway junction to Pundit Deendayal Upadhaya Nagar. Deendayal was was an RSS thinker and co-founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and considered as BJP ideologue. It also changed the name of ‘Ardh Kumbh’ of 2019 to ‘Maha Kumbh’ which drew a flak of a section in opposition.
Not only that, the Yogi government changed the names of many schemes introduced by the previous Samajwadi Party government for painting its Hindutva agenda vibrant. It dropped the prefix of ‘Samajwadi’ from the Purvanchal Expressway project initiated by the former Akhilesh Yadav government in the state.
After BJP government captured the power in UP, Hindu seers and religious gurus have been demanding the change of Allahabad’s name, with even the VHP supporting this demand. But it is unclear whether the party is ready to take active initiative to fulfill the demands of Hindu seers and religious gurus for soon starting of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
But, such game of name-changing is not a new trend and previous governments, too, had resorted to this strategy to placate their vote bank for getting political mileage. The Mayawati government, during its previous tenures, changed the names of eight districts in Uttar Pradesh. When the SP government came back to power it restored its original names. For example, Mayawati changed the name of the prestigious medical college of Lucknow from King George’s Medical College to Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical university. But when the subsequent SP government came to power it restored the old name.
BJP in UP also adopted the same name-change game, while incapable to start Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
__Courtesy to the writer.