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Taking Cue From Colleagues in UP, BJP Leaders in MP on a Spree to Rename Cities

File photo of Rameshwar Sharma

File photo of Rameshwar Sharma

It all started with Hindutva hardliner Rameshwar Sharma, who on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, demanded that Idgah Hills in Bhopal be renamed as Guru Nanak Tekari.

Bhopal: The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Madhya Pradesh who returned to power with thumping a majority in the recently held bypolls are now on a spree to suggest new names for prominent places and landmarks in the state. Most of these suggestions are in line with the Hindutva traditions and beliefs.

It all started with Protem speaker and the Hindutva hardliner Rameshwar Sharma, who on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, demanded that Idgah Hills in the old city Bhopal be renamed as Guru Nanak Tekari.

Idgah Hills has a 500-year-old connect with the sacred religious head who is said to have visited the place five centuries ago and his footprints are preserved there in a gurdwara.

The Sikh community followed suit and made a similar demand.

Then four days ago, BJP state head VD Sharma demanded that Hoshangabad district, around 80km from Bhopal, be renamed as Narmadapuram. This should be done in accordance with the popular demand of the locals, Sharma said.

Indore BJP Member of Parliament Shankar Lalwani, known for his maverick takes on the contemporary, also quick to join the chorus and make his wish public on Monday. Lalwani said has received a public demand for renaming Khajrana area as Ganesh Nagar and he supports the demand. The area, a Muslim dominated locality, is known for noted Ganesh temple which is known as Khajrana Ganesh temple.

“The Khajrana is a word not required in this regard and the area around temple should be known as Ganesh Nahgar and localities around a dargah could be continued to be called Khajrana,” said the MP.

The locals claim the area got its name as Khajana (treasure) was found in the area long back and later the name got twisted to Khajrana. Another belief is that the area got its name after a Dargah “Khajrana’ based in the region.

The clamour for changing names in MP is not new. In 2006, when four metro cities of the country got new names, MP BJP leaders had floated new names for cities of the state. They had demanded that Jabalpur be renamed as Jabalipuram, temple town Ujjain as Ujjaiyini and state capital Bhopal as Bhojpal after the king Bhoj who ruled the region in the past.

The word Jabalipuram was derived from sage Jabali who is said to be spent life in the Jabalpur region. Municipal Corporation Jabalpur with the support of both Congress party and BJP had passed a resolution for the name change but ultimately the matter was shelved and the name remained as it is.

first published:December 08, 2020, 12:41 IST