BJP govt to change Aligarh’s name to Harigarh
By News Desk
November 9, 2023 12:48 PM
As part of its campaign to erase the footprints of Muslims from India, the BJP-ruled Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is planning to change the name of Aligarh city, which also has world-renowned Aligarh University.
The BJP-controlled Municipal Corporation has decided to change the name of Aligarh to Harigarh.
The city Mayor, Prashant Singhal, has revealed plans to submit a proposal to the state government for official endorsement, The Hindu reported.
This move would add Aligarh to the list of several other places in Uttar Pradesh whose Muslim names have been changed by the BJP-led state government in recent years. Allahabad has been renamed as Prayagraj and Faizabad district as Ayodhya district.
The Aligarh Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Monday unanimously passed a resolution to rename Aligarh as Harigarh. It has now been sent to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government for a final nod. “A proposal to rename Aligarh as Harigarh was unanimously approved by the civic corporation. The proposal, which was first prepared by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Sanjay Pundit, was cleared during the board meeting. It has been sent to the state government for final approval," said Prashant Singhal, mayor Aligarh.
While Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders said the renaming was just misuse of power, mainly aimed at diverting people’s attention from the burning issues, locals said the name Aligarh, even if changed, will remain in their hearts forever. “There are several civic issues in Aligarh. I wonder why the Aligarh Municipal Corporation is more interested in changing the name of the city rather than solving the civic issues," said Musharraf Hussain, an SP corporator from Aligarh.
“I was born and brought up in Aligarh. I have grown up seeing the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and vibrant culture. It will remain Aligarh in our hearts even if its name changed to Harigarh or whatever," said Sanjay Chauhan, trader who hails from Aligarh.
Vinesh Pal Singh, a lawyer who hails from Aligarh, said the original name of Aligarh in the 12th century was Kol. It used to be a major city of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire and used to serve as a prime economic centre.
In the 16th century, the city was renamed several times, before being finalised as Aligarh.