New Delhi: Bhopal’s Habibganj station which is to be launched as India’s first world-class railway station on 15 November has been renamed after Rani Kamlapati, the last Gond queen of the 18th Century.
The decision was taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs upon a request by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government.
Chauhan Saturday said he was thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accepting the state’s request.
“I thank PM Modi from my heart. I express gratitude on behalf of 8.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh and the tribal community for renaming Habibganj station after Rani Kamlapati. She was the honour of Gond samaj, the last Hindu queen,” he said.
The chief minister also said the renaming of the station is a symbol of respect and empowerment of women.
रानी कमलापतिजी मध्यप्रदेश के गौरवशाली इतिहास का अभिन्न हिस्सा हैं, जिन्होंने जनजातीय संस्कृति, कला व परंपराओं को संरक्षण देने के साथ ही श्रेष्ठ जीवन मूल्यों के लिए अपने प्राण तक न्यौछावर कर दिए। रानी कमलापति जी मप्र ही नहीं पूरे देश में महिलाओं के सम्मान, सशक्तिकरण का प्रतीक है।
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) November 13, 2021
In a letter to the home ministry on 11 November, the MP government said Rani Kamlapati was the 18th Century Gond queen of the region and renaming the station will “honour her legacy and bravery.”
Habibganj station is the first station to have been modernised and redeveloped under public-private partnership (PPP) model at a cost of Rs 100 crore and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on 15 November.
MP govt’s letter
In its letter to the home ministry, the Madhya Pradesh government said Kamlapati was married to Nizam Shah, who was the son of Gond king Suraj Singh Shah, and that in the 16th Century, when Bhopal was under the Gond rule, “Kamlapati fought valiantly against invaders all her life.”
The letter also said the renaming of the station is in accordance with the Indian government’s decision to celebrate 15 November as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ in remembrance of the tribal leader and freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
The MP government’s letter came a day after BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur demanded that the station be renamed after former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Gond community comprises the largest tribal group of India with more than 1.2 crore population. Linguistically, the Gonds belong to the Gondi–Manda subgroup of the South Central branch of the Dravidian language family.