Modi sarkar is renaming India, address by address. Under attack is the Nehru-Gandhi family's monopoly on names of institutions, places and schemes, the colonial legacy, and memory of the mighty Mughals.
On August 5, Mughalsarai Junction will be formally renamed after RSS thinker and co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal Upadhyay.
BJP president Amit Shah, railway minister Piyush Goyal and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will flag off a passenger train and one goods train with an all-woman crew at the iconic railway station tomorrow. Ekatmata Express, now set to follow a new route from Lucknow to Mughalsarai, will get the green signal.
Names matter. Every regime names roads, airports, stadiums, institutions and schemes after their own to leave their imprint on history.
Earlier in June, Yogi government's move to rename the Mughalsarai station drew flak from the opposition which accused the Modi government of attempting to tamper with history.
However, an RTI finding, revealed by BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, showed that the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty names had found their way to more than 450 roads, schemes and institutions.
Now, the Modi government is on a mission mode to undo the Parivar-waad and take out the colonial and Mughal references in our signage. Icons of the Sangh Parivar are now finding mentions on these plaques more often.
BJP governments in the state and at the Centre had imbibed Deen Dayal Upadhyay's philosophy of 'antyodaya', or caring for the last person in society.
Here is a quick look at some of the renaming done after 2014:
- June 2018. Delhi BJP spokesperson Ashwani Upadhyay demands that Shahjahan Road be renamed Dashrath Manjhi Road, as the Mughal emperor was a "symbol of lust". Manjhi, the Mountain Man, had cut a path across a 360-feet long hillock using only a chisel and hammer after he could not get his wife to a doctor on time.
- June 2018. The BJP in Bihar demands renaming of Bakhtiyarpur Junction, named after Bakhtiyar Khilji, the military general of Qutubuddin Aibak, to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay junction.
- May 2018. Yogi government proposes renaming Allahabad to Prayag Raj before Kumbh Mela in 2019. Prayag was the original name, which was later changed by Akbar.
- May 2018. Miscreants put up posters on the Akbar Road signboard in Delhi, calling it Maharana Pratap Road. The next day happened to be the birth anniversary of the Maharana. In 2015, Union minister Gen VK Singh had reportedly suggested a road be named after Maharana Pratap.
- January 2018. Teen Murti Chowk, a legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, is renamed Teen Murti Haifa Chowk to honour India’s newfound closeness to Israel. In the Battle of Haifa during World War I, Indian soldiers fought the Ottoman Empire to capture Haifa and Acre.
- September 2017. Kandla Port becomes Deendayal Port in BJP-ruled Gujarat.
- February 2017. Dalhousie Road in New Delhi, named after the Governor General during the British Rule, becomes Dara Shikoh Road. Dara Shikoh, though a Mughal prince, is considered a liberal by the Sangh Parivar owing to his interest in Upanishads which he translated in Persian.
- September 2016. Race Course Road in New Delhi gets renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg as the Prime Minister who works for the welfare (kalyan) of the people lives there. The proposal was moved by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
- September 2016. Gurgaon, the financial capital of Haryana is renamed Gurugram. In Hindu mythology, the place was supposed to be the ashram Kaurava and Pandava’s guru Rishi Dronacharya.
- August 2015. Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi is renamed after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Besides these places, the BJP has renamed and repackaged some of these schemes which were named after the Congress family heirloom:
Rajiv Awaas Yojana to Sardar Patel National Urban Housing Mission
Indira Awaas Yojana to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Grameen)
Rajiv Grameen Vidyuti Karan Yojana to Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
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Last Updated Aug 4, 2018, 5:29 PM IST