International Desk: A north Indian city is to have its Islamic name changed to one with Hindu associations following demands from Hindu nationalists.
Government officials in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, on Tuesday announced they had approved the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj.
It follows years of pressure to change the name to Prayag, the Sanskrit word for “place of sacrifice”, which refers to the Hindu belief the creator of the universe made his first offering in the city at the point where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet.
The change removes allusions to the city’s historical Mughal-era rule, with the area named Allahabad by the Muslim emperor, Akbar, in 1583.
Uttar Pradesh’s cabinet, which is led by hardline Hindu nationalist preacher Yogi Adityanath, agreed the proposal in the face of protests from opposition parties.
Health minister of the northern Indian state, Siddharth Nath Singh, told local media: “The city used to be known as Prayagraj since the beginning. To those who are opposing the decision, how would you feel if the name your parents gave you was to be changed?”
Mr Adityanath, the chief minister said, only “people who have zero understanding of our history and traditions would question the move”.
risingbd/Dhaka/Oct 17, 2018/Nasim