On Tuesday, the UP Government came out with the headline saying that Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj.
This sudden change in the name led to a lot of speculations about as to why this decision was made. Some call it a move with an objective to saffornise the entire nation while some predict it as BJP’s next political move.
But there’s also a hidden reason behind it deeply rooted in our history and mythology.
A sudden curious fire seems to have spread around as we see people speculating reasons for the change in name.
A lot of people are saying that it is a part of the ongoing agenda of the RSS-BJP to rewrite India’s history and establish their inclination towards a saffron state. This has brought in a major critique for the UP government several times in the past also.
Some even go to an extent and say in order to propagate the saffron ideology and remove the Mughal period from Indian history this change has been suggested. While others simply see this step in the light of the large-scale encounter spree in UP, this name changing game is nothing but a distraction.
These speculative reasons have brought a lot of critique for the present UP government.
Let’s reason it out!
Mindlessly people have been following the headline and making speculations but have remained unaware of the historic and the cultural aspect associated with it.
In Hindu mythology, Prayag literally means the “place of sacrifice” but is also known as the “land of confluence” or the place where the “Sangam” happens (two or more rivers meet).
Allahabad was initially known as Prayag; some even called it “Triveni Sangam” or “Sangam Nagar” because three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet.
Sangam holds a position of religious importance as it is believed that the Gods descend on earth to take a bath in the Sangam waters and one can get pure post a bath in these holy waters. This mythological aspect is unknown to people.
Localites still prefer to call Allahabad by the name of “Prayag” as it was only during Akbar’s rule that the city was renamed from “Prayag” to Allahabad.
This is very similar to Banaras being called “Kashi” even today because of its roots in Hindu mythology and ancient names.
And then the mad ruler said, “Paint the town orange!”
A lot of Indian cities have been renamed in the past. Let it be Bombay to Mumbai or say Madras to Chennai these changes weren’t a real issue.
The presence of IIT Madras instead of Chennai shows that it’s a culture which leaves a larger impact as compared to the official name.
Changes in names of cities like Calcutta to Kolkata, Gurgaon to Gurugram, Baroda to Vadodara all these were changes made on historical grounds and not due to some political ideology. It’s the lack of information of the masses that rumours are very often floating around.
Prayag was a term which ran in the veins of Allahabad as a culture and as an ethos of the ancient era. Thus, this shift doesn’t seem this random or problematic as it has been portrayed by the mainstream media.
Image Source: Google Images
You’d also like to read: