Even as the ruling BJP leaders have reiterated their resolve to rename Ahmedabad as ‘Karnavati’, public opinion in the city remains divided on the issue.
Soon after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had said that they too would renew their efforts to rename Ahmedabad as ‘Karnavati’.
None of them, however, have addressed the issue of how exactly they would overcome the problems emanating from the fact that the city has earned the UNESCO ‘World Heritage City’ tag precisely due to the monuments and architecture built during the time of Ahmed Shah who founded Ahmedabad in 1411 AD.
Historians and social scientists here insist that ‘Karnavati’ was never the name of the city as existing now while litterateurs point out that this urban centre has always found reference as Ahmedabad in prose and poetry of the last few centuries.
The right -wingers argue that the name needs to be changed as Ahmed Shah was not seen as a ‘tolerant’ and ‘secular’ ruler. They say that if Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road can be renamed as APJ Abdul Kalam Marg why cannot Ahmedabad be changed to ‘Karnavati’.
Meanwhile, an opinion survey conducted by a local Gujarati news portal has found as many as 66 per cent people say that there is no need to change the city’s name.
While 34 per cent have favoured renaming the city as ‘Karnavati’, some respondents have made very suggestive comments on the renaming move.
“Bring down the prices, no need to rename the city”, said one respondent of the opinion poll.
“Okay, change the city’s name, but what would the common man get out of it?” asked another respondent of the opinion poll conducted by MeraNews, a Gujarati news portal.
The local press too has mentioned dozens of locality names linked to Islamic vocabulary and asked the authorities whether they intend to rename all of them and on what basis.