After since Yogi Adityanath government has renamed two of the Uttar Pradesh cities, similar demands have cropped up in other parts of the country like Auranghabad and Ahmedabad. Amid this ongoing spree of Bharatiya Janata Party over changing the city names, historian Irfan Habib commented that the BJP chief’s name ‘Amit Shah’ should also be considered for renaming as it originates from “Persian roots, not Gujarati.”
The 87-year-old professor emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University said that surname ‘Shah’ is of Persian origin and not of Gujarati. Even the term Gujarat itself is of Persian origin. It was called Gujaratra earlier. These are the first few things Party should consider renaming.
The comments were in reaction to five-term BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg’s letter to state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath requesting him to rename the city of Taj as ‘Agravan’ as the city is home to the Agrawal community, who are the followers of Maharaja Agrasen.
While speaking to the media over many reasons of BJP renaming the cities, professor Irfan said, “the renaming spree is very much in line with the RSS ideology. Just as in Pakistan there is a move to remove everything that is not Islamic, similarly, here they want to remove things which are non-Hindu and particularly Islamic. Mughals or Nawabs were not just Mughals and Nawabs, they were Muslims. So, there is no justification for this other than prejudice. Everything with a Muslim name should be removed, that’s what they think. This kind of attitude diminishes India and its stature in the world.”
Meanwhile, UP cabinet minister and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Saturday urged the ruling party to first rename its Muslim leaders before setting out to change names of cities and districts. Since the government is changing Muslim names, so it should rename its Muslim leaders, Mohsin Raza, who is in UP cabinet, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. BJP is doing this only to distract attention from real issues such as poverty, unemployment.”