With nothing tangible to show on the governance front, the BJP government in states across India appear to have kicked off a competition of sorts on changing Muslim-sounding names of famous landmarks and places.
Hindutva icon and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the first to change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj since it was deemed to carry the name of Allah. He then quickly followed it up with renaming Faizabad to Ayodhya.
Adityanath’s ‘success’ seems to have affected other BJP chief ministers elsewhere in the country. The latest to follow the founder of militant hindutva group Hindu Yuva Vahini is Gujarat government, which on Tuesday announced that it may change the name of Ahmedabad to Karnavati.
According to a report by the PTI, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar that his government was willing to change Ahmedabad’s name if it got past the legal hurdles and received the required support.
“People are still having a feeling that Ahmedabad should be renamed Karnavati. If we get the required support to overcome the legal hurdles, we are always ready to change the name of the city,” Patel was quoted as saying, Ahmedabad is India’s only city having the ‘World Heritage’ tag.
Historically, the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval, added the PTI report. Chalukya ruler Karna of Anhilwara (modern Patan) had waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati river.
Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. had laid the foundation of a new walled city near Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad after the four saints in the area by the name of Ahmed.
“We can think of changing the name at an appropriate time,” Patel added.