Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday picked mythological characters to justify his government’s decision of renaming Allahabad to Prayagraj.
Speaking on the closing ceremony of Gyan Peeth in Haridwar, the UP CM took a jibe at those questioning his decision by asking why parents do not name their children Ravan or Duryodhan.
“Log keh rahe hain kyun naam badal diya, naam se kya hota hai? Maine kaha tumhare maa-baap ne tumhara naam Ravan aur Duryodhan kyun nahi rakh diya? (People ask me why I changed the name, what’s in a name. I ask them, why did your parents not name you Ravan and Duryodhan?),” the CM said as those present at the gathering broke into an applause.
Ravan and Duryodhan are names of the antagonists in Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, respectively.
On 16 October, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved a proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, senior Cabinet minister Siddhartha Nath Singh said, “Rig Veda, Mahabharat and Ramayana also mention Prayagraj (for Allahabad).”
“The people of entire Allahabad, the sages and seers wanted that Allahabad should be known as Prayagraj. Two days back, when the chief minister had chaired a meeting pertaining to Kumbh there, he had himself mooted that Allahabad should be called Prayagraj. All the sages and seers had given their unanimous approval for the same,” he added.
The city was renamed Allahabad by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Before him Akbar had built a fort near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna which was called Ilahabad. Till before the UP government’s decision, only the site of the Sangam area was called Prayag.