The CM’s priorities seem to revolve around renaming Muslim sounding places. Given there is no dearth of them in UP, it could keep him busy till 2019.

New Delhi: With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections around the corner, Yogi Adityanath is a man on a mission — a nomenclature traversing one.

The UP chief minister’s governance priorities, it appears, nowadays revolve around renaming towns and districts in Uttar Pradesh that have ‘Muslim-sounding’ names.

Less than a month after Allahabad was re-christened as Prayagraj on the approval of his cabinet, Adityanath renamed Faizabad district as Ayodhya district Tuesday. The efforts, the chief minister said, was him merely ‘restoring’ history as it ought to have been — bereft of Muslim rulers.

And for critics wondering why even bother, the chief minister had quite the rationale.  “Some said what is there in the name,” he said while defending his Prayagraj re-labelling. “So, I said why didn’t their parents name them ‘Raavan’ and ‘Duryodhana’ in that case? In this country, the name holds a lot of significance.”


Also read: BJP has several Yogi Adityanath wannabes in Karnataka & Telangana


Given the speed with which the UP chief minister is rewriting history by changing the names of ‘Muslim-sounding cities’ in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, and with no dearth of such places in the state, Adityanath may be left with little else to do before 2019.

Here is a map of all the places he will have to cover:

Illustration by Arindam Mukherjee
Infographic by Arindam Mukherjee
  1. Ghaziabad: Formerly Ghaziuddinnagar, the city was established in 1740 and named after its founder Wazir Ghazi-ud-din. In 1864, with the advent of the railways, the name was shortened to Ghaziabad for administrative purposes. It is also occasionally called the ‘Gateway of UP’ because of its proximity to the national capital. A grouping of industrial, residential and commercial projects within the district of Ghaziabad is also named Sahibabad.
  2. Muzaffarnagar: A name that has become indelible in modern-day consciousness due to the 2013 riots, Muzaffarnagar was gifted by Emperor Shah Jahan to one of his chieftains, Saiyed Muzaffar Khan as a jagir (a feudal land grant). In 1633, along with the adjoining areas of Khera and Surju, Khan founded un-divided Muzaffarnagar. His son Munawar Lashkar Khan later named the city after his father Muzaffar.
  3. Ghazipur: The district’s official website describes the district of Ghazipur as being “famous for its glorious history in the Mughal period”. Although the exact etymology of the name is not mentioned, the UP government cites historians who place Ghazipur as being named after Saiyyad Masood Ghazi, a Muslim saint.
  4. Aligarh: The region in western UP has changed names depending on who ruled it at the given time. Once called Kol, the region became ‘Muhammadgarh’ in 1524–25, when Mohammad, the son of the governor during Ibrahim Lodhi’s reign, renamed the city after himself. A future governor, Sabit Khan, named the city Sabitgarh, and later a Jat occupier named Surajmal called it Ramgarh. Aligarh got its present name when Najaf Khan, a Shia commander, captured it.
  5. Firozabad: Originally called Chandwar Nager, Firozabad was named during Akbar’s regime by Firoz Shah Mansab Dar in 1566. The district’s official website cites oral folklore to tell the city’s story: “They say that Raja Todarmal was passing through this town on his pilgrimage to Gaya, (when) he was looted by robbers. At his request, Akbar the great sent his Mansab Dar Firoz Shah here.”
  6. Shahjahanpur: The city lies roughly 72 km southeast of Bareilly and 160 km northwest of Lucknow. As the title suggests, it was founded and named after the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1647.
  7. Sultanpur: Folklore has it that the city was founded by Kush, Ram’s son, and was called Kusapura or Kusabhavanpur after him. Before the area was annexed by the British during the 1857 revolt, a military station and cantonment area was established on the river’s right bank in Girghit village. This was commonly referred to as Sultanpur by officers.
  8. Akbarpur: The district headquarters of Ambedkar Nagar, Akbarpur was formed as a consequence of then UP BSP CM Mayawati’s decision to section off a part of Faizabad to create Ambedkar Nagar on 29 September 1995. According to the Ramayana, King Dashratha also shot Shravan Kumar here.
  9. Moradabad: The city was established in 1600 by Murad, the son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, from where it derives its name Moradabad.
  10. Mirzapur: One might be surprised to learn that Mirzapur wasn’t named by a Muslim king at all but by the British East India Company in 1735, which first called it Mirzapore. The name traces its etymology through a series of derivations from the Persian word ‘Amīrzāde, meaning “child of the ruler.”
  11. Azamgarh: One of the easternmost districts of UP, Azamgarh’s name owes its existence to a conscious conversion to Islam. Named after the town that is its headquarters, Azamgarh was founded by the son of Gautam Rajput Vikramjit in 1665. The official district website says that the son, named Azam, “like some of his predecessors, had embraced the faith of Islam”.
  12. Shikohabad:  It was formerly called ‘Mohammad Mah’, a marker that still exists near the villages of Tahsil and Kotwali. The township was eventually named after Dara Shikoh, the eldest brother of Emperor Aurangzeb. Today, however, the town scarcely carries a trace of the Mughal era.
  13. Fatehpur Sikri: The current World UNESCO Heritage site was “built during the second half of the 16th century by Emperor Akbar”.  At first, Akbar called the city Fatehabad but later changed it to a more royal ‘Fatehpur Sikri’ (The City of Victory) after his conquest of Gujarat in 1573. The city is home to one of India’s biggest mosques — the Jama Masjid.
  14. Farrukhabad: The region was founded by Nawab Mohammad Khan Bangash in 1714, who then named it in honour of the then reigning ruler Farrukhsiyar. The township consists of the twin-cities of Farrukhabad and Fatehgarh, which are approximately five kilometres apart.

Also read: Free dialysis services to be provided in all Gorakhpur hospitals, says UP CM Yogi Adityanath


 

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17 COMMENTS

  1. What these fourteen low hanging fruits waiting to be plucked by Mahant Yogiji underline is the fact that Muslims are woven in the warp and weft of Indian society, a little more copiously in some states like Uttar Pradesh, a lot less in others like Haryana. They cannot be erased, or hidden like the slums of Benares behind large hoardings, to avoid hurting the refined sensibilities of President Macron when he comes a visiting. 2. We are sending out a very deeply disturbing message to India’s 170 million Muslims : You don’t really belong here, are not at all welcome, we do not wish to publicly acknowledge your being part of the complex mosaic of our society. Since you cannot be physically snuffed out, we will make you non persons, beyond the scope of our national consciousness. These are harsh words, not the language one normally uses, but there is no politically correct way to express one’s moral outrage over these acts of cultural vandalism.

    • Partition of india happened on the religious grounds. Those who couldn’t able to go and settle in pakistan are now celebrating pakistan cricket victory over india in India. It is also quite evident that muslim community, wherever they are in majority wipe out the rest of others. Hindus have only one country to live. We have all the rights to marginalised them. Those who fear can migrate again to their favorite country and avail all the rights of that nation.

      • The vicious atmosphere created post 1925 led to partition eventually.. the reason was political as well. If it was purely religious , then how come other religions didn’t got their own separate nation’s?? Dumb bhakts keep thinking this nation as Monopoly of one faith!! Which is a poisoned idea fed to them by right wing propaganda.. the nation belongs to all of 130 cr Indians, and try making a monopoly of it!!

  2. Comment:yogee this is your Time now, soon it Time turn against you.you will be again slaves of Muslims, it is the matter of Time.again Hindu name will change to Muslim names.

  3. Changing names as per the map will be different matter and he may do it. Next let him erase history of Moghul and Muslim rule in the whole Indian subcontinent and claim there were such rulers at all.

  4. If all the above cities hv originalally, Indian/Hindu names then they shd be changed to its original names. Otherwise its ok. Its not muslim sounding names, the reality is restoring the original identity of cities which was changed and given different identity some centuries back. I am with Yogiji till original identitis are restored of all ancient cities. The writer shd give the original names of the cities too.

  5. We have a history attached to each city and it’s necessary that we should restore the original names so as to keep the history alive! Otherwise our native History will be considered a mythology! Those who feel hurted to change the names of the people who raped their mothers and sisters can well go to the country they were offered!

  6. Comment:Kandahar was originally gandhar…related to Mahabharata. Bamian statues are no more. similarly we must take every initiative to erase moghuls completely

  7. Casteism, racism are those dividers of a community or nation that disturbs the harmony of the country. A very sorry affair our nation today is facing.we have elected to govern to represent us people whose educational qualifications are questionable.who character does not speak of them in any worthy manner. We need to see our laws are properly amended to facilitate the voters to elect worthy candidates who can represent us in a efficient manner.

  8. “Indian Freedom is written on Muslims’ blood, their participation in freedom struggle was much more, in proportion to their small percentage of population”

    There are 95300 freedom fighters’ names written on India Gate, Delhi out of that 61945 are Muslim names which means 65% of freedom fighters were Muslims.
    The sacrifices of Muslims, for Indian freedom struggle were purposely hidden. Let’s look into Indian History for knowing the truth…
    Every Indian should know the innumerable facts and teach our children the truth!
    Please read fully and forward to every Indian you know…..
    In fact first freedom struggle was by Hyder Ali, and his son Tipu Sultan in 1780s and 1790s Mysorean rockets were the first iron-cased rockets, successfully deployed for military use. Hyder Ali, and his son Tipu Sultan, used rockets and cannons effectively against the British invaders during the 1780s and 1790s.
    Every one knows that Rani Janshi fought to get the kingdom for her adopted child but how many of us know that Begum Hazrat Mahal was the unsung heroine of the first war of Independence, who shot the British ruler Sir.Henry Lawrence and defeated the British army in a decisive Battle at Chinhat on June 30, 1857.
    Do you know that the organizer and leader of “First Indian freedom struggle” was Moulavi Ahamadullah Shah – many were killed, among them 90% were Muslims! Ashfaqulla Khan was the first to be hanged at the age of 27 years for conspiring against the British Raj.
    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian NationalCongress during the Indian independence movement. In the picketing protest against ‘liquor shops ’ by Mahatma Gandhi, 10 participants were Muslims out of 19 participant!
    Last Mogul Emperor Badur Shah was the first to strongly fight for Indian freedom which lead to 1857 indepence struggle and Rajiv Gandhi wrote Bahadur Shah’s grave: “Although you (Bahadur Shah) do not have land in India, you have it here, your name is alive… I pay homage to the memory of the symbol and rallying point of India’s first war of independence….”
    M.K.M Ameer Hamza, donated multi million rupees for Indian National Army (INA), he headed Azad library reading propaganda of INA. His family is now poor, living in a rented house at Ramanadhapuram Tamil Nadu.
    Memon Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani, donated almost his entire fortune of Rs 1 crore to the Indian National Army – a princely sum in those days by completely donating his entire asset to Netaji’s INA. Shah Nawaz Khan was a soldier, a politician, Chief officer and commander, in the Indian National Army (INA).
    Netaji’s ministry had 19 ministers, 5 of them were Muslims
    Mother Beevimma, a Muslim lady donated over 30 lakhs rupees for Indian freedom struggle.
    Abul Kalam Azad, Jinnah, Nawab of Bihar were the three who made the plans for total independence
    Suraiya thiyabji (a Muslim lady) designed current Indian National Flag

    Muslims used Masjids for freedom struggle. When an Imam was addressing about Indian freedom in a Holy Masjid in Utar Pradesh, British Army shot all the Muslims in that Masjid – still you see the dried blood of the freedom fighters she’d on the walls of that Masjid. Muslims ruled India over 800 years and they didn’t steal anything from India as British, Dutch & French did.

    *Muslims lived here, ruled here & died here. They developed India into a unified & civilized country by bringing in abundant knowledge in Literature, Architecture, Judicial and Political structure, Government body and management structure, which is still used in Indian management strategy!
    In Tamil Nadu Ismael Shaheb & Maruda Nayagam fought against British for 7 continuous year. They made British fear like hell.
    We all know V.O.C (Kappalotiya Tamilzhan) -the first Sailor who sailed against West Indian Company in the Indian freedom war but how many know that Fakkir Muhammed Rawther, was the one who donated that ship !
    When VOC was arrested, Muhammed Yaseen was shot dead by British police for his demonstration to release VOC.
    Tiruppur Kumaran (“Kodi kata kumaran”) participated in the Indian independence movement . With Kumaran 7 other participant were arrested – all were Muslims, Abdul Latheef, Akbar Ali, Mohideen Khan, Abdul Rahim, Vavu Shaheb, Abdul latheef and Sheikh baba shaheb
    One can write thousands of pages as books, on the sacrifice of Muslims for the Freedom of India but unfortunately, the domination of communal extremists, fanatic Hindus hid these truth and history is misrepresented in Indian History books.
    In fact distorted history is rewritten to divide people for securing votes.
    Patriotic Indians should be cautious not to fall a prey to evil politicians & work towards uniting all citizens for a strong & progressive Nation.????????

  9. So be it..Yogi should change names if he thinks fit..he knows what he is doing..going with the demand of the times..let the naysayers get a fit..

  10. Famous Writer Mr. Kushwant Singh says: “Indian Freedom is written on Muslims’ blood, their participation in freedom struggle was much more, in proportion to their small percentage of population”

    There are 95300 freedom fighters’ names written on India Gate, Delhi out of that 61945 are Muslim names which means 65% of freedom fighters were Muslims.
    The sacrifices of Muslims, for Indian freedom struggle were purposely hidden. Let’s look into Indian History for knowing the truth…
    Every Indian should know the innumerable facts and teach our children the truth!
    Please read fully and forward to every Indian you know…..
    In fact first freedom struggle was by Hyder Ali, and his son Tipu Sultan in 1780s and 1790s Mysorean rockets were the first iron-cased rockets, successfully deployed for military use. Hyder Ali, and his son Tipu Sultan, used rockets and cannons effectively against the British invaders during the 1780s and 1790s.
    Every one knows that Rani Janshi fought to get the kingdom for her adopted child but how many of us know that Begum Hazrat Mahal was the unsung heroine of the first war of Independence, who shot the British ruler Sir.Henry Lawrence and defeated the British army in a decisive Battle at Chinhat on June 30, 1857.
    Do you know that the organizer and leader of “First Indian freedom struggle” was Moulavi Ahamadullah Shah – many were killed, among them 90% were Muslims! Ashfaqulla Khan was the first to be hanged at the age of 27 years for conspiring against the British Raj.
    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian NationalCongress during the Indian independence movement. In the picketing protest against ‘liquor shops ’ by Mahatma Gandhi, 10 participants were Muslims out of 19 participant!
    Last Mogul Emperor Badur Shah was the first to strongly fight for Indian freedom which lead to 1857 indepence struggle and Rajiv Gandhi wrote Bahadur Shah’s grave: “Although you (Bahadur Shah) do not have land in India, you have it here, your name is alive… I pay homage to the memory of the symbol and rallying point of India’s first war of independence….”
    M.K.M Ameer Hamza, donated multi million rupees for Indian National Army (INA), he headed Azad library reading propaganda of INA. His family is now poor, living in a rented house at Ramanadhapuram Tamil Nadu.
    Memon Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani, donated almost his entire fortune of Rs 1 crore to the Indian National Army – a princely sum in those days by completely donating his entire asset to Netaji’s INA. Shah Nawaz Khan was a soldier, a politician, Chief officer and commander, in the Indian National Army (INA).
    Netaji’s ministry had 19 ministers, 5 of them were Muslims
    Mother Beevimma, a Muslim lady donated over 30 lakhs rupees for Indian freedom struggle.
    Abul Kalam Azad, Jinnah, Nawab of Bihar were the three who made the plans for total independence
    Suraiya thiyabji (a Muslim lady) designed current Indian National Flag

    Muslims used Masjids for freedom struggle. When an Imam was addressing about Indian freedom in a Holy Masjid in Utar Pradesh, British Army shot all the Muslims in that Masjid – still you see the dried blood of the freedom fighters she’d on the walls of that Masjid. Muslims ruled India over 800 years and they didn’t steal anything from India as British, Dutch & French did.

    *Muslims lived here, ruled here & died here. They developed India into a unified & civilized country by bringing in abundant knowledge in Literature, Architecture, Judicial and Political structure, Government body and management structure, which is still used in Indian management strategy!
    In Tamil Nadu Ismael Shaheb & Maruda Nayagam fought against British for 7 continuous year. They made British fear like hell.
    We all know V.O.C (Kappalotiya Tamilzhan) -the first Sailor who sailed against West Indian Company in the Indian freedom war but how many know that Fakkir Muhammed Rawther, was the one who donated that ship !
    When VOC was arrested, Muhammed Yaseen was shot dead by British police for his demonstration to release VOC.
    Tiruppur Kumaran (“Kodi kata kumaran”) participated in the Indian independence movement . With Kumaran 7 other participant were arrested – all were Muslims, Abdul Latheef, Akbar Ali, Mohideen Khan, Abdul Rahim, Vavu Shaheb, Abdul latheef and Sheikh baba shaheb
    One can write thousands of pages as books, on the sacrifice of Muslims for the Freedom of India but unfortunately, the domination of communal extremists, fanatic Hindus hid these truth and history is misrepresented in Indian History books.
    In fact distorted history is rewritten to divide people for securing votes.
    Patriotic Indians should be cautious not to fall a prey to evil politicians & work towards uniting all citizens for a strong & progressive Nation.

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