In a whirlwind decision UP Chief Minister AdityaNath Yogi has declared that the city of Allahabad has been renamed to Prayagraj. The decision to rename one of India’s most important cities has been taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister. The Bhartiya Janta Party is a 100% behind this extending their Hindu nationalist agenda. The party has been accused on several occasions of tapping into their Hindu vote bank and their support right before the general elections of 2019 seems to confirm the allegations. But this brings us to the question, are these left extremist policies against our constitutional spirit of secularism?
Adityanath Yogi is on a name changing spree, airing his views about changing the name of Taj Mahal to Ram Mahal, Azamgarh to Aryamgarh and India to Hindustan. The name Allahbad was given by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Allahbad literally meaning The Abode of Gods. Allah is a generic Islamic word for gods, but the name sounds a little alien to the ears of the chief minister and is trying to erase a major chunk of our history by eliminating all traces of Islamic invasions in our country. A look back in history tells that Akbar was a tolerant ruler who respected the masses’ right to religion and started his own religion Din-i-Ilahi that propagated religious tolerance and communal harmony. And in the face of this harmonious ruler stands Adityanath Yogi who is trying to pathetically leave a mark on history by changing the name of an age old city. The change clearly favors the Hindu majority when plenty of cities in India have Hindu roots like Ramnagar but have not been changed to more communally neutral names.
Not only is the name anti-secular but is also a redundant expense when the Kumbh Mela stands right upon the city. The city is short on maintenance and this change has added an extra burden on the UP budget. Yogi Adityanath has failed to bring any real changes in the state in respect to infrastructure, high pollution levels, low employment opportunities, poor sanitation, among several others and is trying to create a false sense of victory among the masses by challenging a non existent enemy. Yogi has intensified the communal agenda to no end. The UP state is organizing Hindu religious festivals. One recalls that on the occasion of Diwali, the helicopter carrying Lord Ram and Sita landed and the Gods were received by Yogi. UP State also organized the lighting of lamps in big numbers. Recently he had again been in the news for the declaration that the state Government will spend ₹5000 crores for the Kumbh mela. The constitution of our country clearly dictates the non interference policy of the government in religion, the government in no state shall propagate any one religion over the other and yet the BJP-RSS propoganda is trying to color the nation saffron.