Aligarh as Harigarh? Ahead of polls, Yogi on name-changing spree

Aligarh as Harigarh? Ahead of polls, Yogi on name-changing spree

With Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh months away, a concerted attempt is being made by BJP and Hindu outfits to rename at least six districts — Aligarh, Mainpuri, Sultanpur, Mirzapur, Firozabad and Sambhal. Though demands to change the names are not new, the timing has made all the difference.

BJP MLA Brijesh Singh from Deoband Assembly seat of Saharanpur has also demanded to change the name of Deoband to Devvrand. Deoband is known for Islamic Madrasa Darul Uloom. “In ancient Hindu scriptures, this place is called Devavrand. I will try to give Deoband a pristine name,” said Brijesh.

Media reports said BJP and its Hindu affiliates are insisting on changing the name of Aligarh — famous for the historic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) — to Harigarh. Supporters of the new name say the name of the district in ancient times was Harigarh, and later it had been changed to Aligarh.

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Similarly, Mainpuri, known for the sarus crane, is proposed to be renamed as Mayan Puri because of the Mayan sage’s tapobhoomi (land of meditation). Sultanpur could be renamed as Kushbhavanpur after Lord Ram’s son Kush.

Mirzapur district, famous for carpet and brassware, is projected to be renamed as Vindhyadham. And Firozabad should be known as Chandra Nagar. The district is known for its glassmaking.

On August 16, Aligarh’s newly formed district panchayat committee held its second meeting under the chairmanship of newly elected president Vijay Singh. At the meeting, members Kehri Singh and Umesh Yadav proposed that Aligarh district be renamed Harigarh, with all members present assenting. Following this, president Vijay Singh sent a proposal for the name change to the state government.

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Panchayats from other districts as well have recommended the new names of districts to the state government.

A number of BJP leaders, including a minister and legislators, propose to meet chief minister Yogi Adityanath again to press their demands for changing names of districts.

Minister of State for Secondary Education Gulab Devi proposes to meet Yogi soon to press the demand of renaming her home district Sambhal as Prithviraj Nagar or Kalki Nagar, said a media report.

“Yes, a demand for renaming Sambhal is being raised in different areas in the district. A large number of people came to meet me and I have assured them to convey their demand to chief minister Yogi Adityanath. I propose to meet the chief minister on August 12 and convey the feelings of the people,” said Gulab Devi, who represents Chandausi assembly seat of Sambhal.

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