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Why Karnavati? Rename Ahmedabad After Bhil King, Says Tribal Outfit

The tribal outfits in the state are unconvinced and claim that Karn himself had overthrown a Bhil King and if the BJP dispensation wanted to turn back the clock, it should turn it all the way back to honour the tribal king Ashawal and not Karn. The alternative, activists said, would be to not change the name at all.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:November 10, 2018, 1:42 PM IST
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Why Karnavati? Rename Ahmedabad After Bhil King, Says Tribal Outfit
File picture of Gujrat chief minister Vijay Rupani. (Getty Images)
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New Delhi: After the Uttar Pradesh government announced the change in names of Faizabad and Allahabad, clamour has grown in Gujarat to change the name of its largest city Ahmedabad to ‘Karnavati’ after the Chalukya King Karn.

However, tribal outfits in the state are unconvinced and claim that Karn himself had overthrown a Bhil King and if the BJP dispensation wanted to turn back the clock, it should turn it all the way back to honour the tribal king Ashawal and not Karn. The alternative, activists said, would be to not change the name at all.

Romel Sutariya of the Adivasi Kisan Sangharsh Morcha told News18, “Ideally, governments should not go on a renaming spree. Calling the city Ahmedabad is now a matter of convenience and there is no pressing need to change it. However, if they are going to change it anyway, they should change it to the name to honour Ashawal, the Bhil King who originally founded the settlement.”

He added, “You see, BJP argues that Ahmed Shah was an invader who took control of Gujarat. But we (tribal activists) argue that Karn himself invaded a tribal settlement. Ashawal founded the settlement named after him around the 10th century on the eastern banks of the Sabarmati River. The city was renamed Karnavati when the Chalukyas took control and eventually Ahmedabad with the coming of the Delhi Sultanate. If BJP is serious about restoring history, they should name it Ashawal. Otherwise, it will become clear that this is just their Hindutva agenda.”

The Gujarat government said Thursday that it was considering renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati. Speaking to reporters in state capital Gandhinagar, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the name change could be effected before the Lok Sabha elections. Rupani's statement comes days after the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh announced renaming of Allahabad and Faizabad as Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively.

"People have been demanding for long that Ahmedabad be renamed as Karnavati. The government is considering this demand. Consultation process has been started (to find out) if legally we can do it. After consultations we will take a concrete step," the chief minister said.

Asked if it could happen before Lok Sabha elections or after, he said, "Before the elections." Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the name Ahmedabad is a "symbol of slavery" and needs to be changed. "We have started the process of getting legal and other approvals like the nod of the Centre," Patel said.

"The name (Ahmedabad) is a symbol of our slavename Karnavati represents our pride, our self-respect, our culture, our autonomy," he said.

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