BJP should change its president’s name first, Shah is Persian word: Irfan Habib

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New Delhi | Published: November 11, 2018 4:41:02 PM

The comment from emeritus AMU professor came in the backdrop of changing the name of Allahabad and Faizabad by the Yogi Adityanath government in UP.

Amid name changes implemented by the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh, eminent historian, Irfan Habib made a comment on BJP President Amit Shah and his name. According to news agency ANI, the 87-year old said that Shah (surname of Amit Shah) is a Persian word and not a Sanskrit one and the BJP should change the names of their leaders first.

“Shah is a Persian word, it is not from Sanskrit. If they (BJP) are changing the names of cities, they should first start with their own names,” news agency ANI Habib as saying. According to Times of India, Habib also said that even the term Gujarat itself is of Persian origin. It was called Gurjaratra earlier. They should also change it.

The comment from emeritus AMU professor came in the backdrop of changing the name of Allahabad and Faizabad by the Yogi Adityanath government in UP. The state government in October officially changed the name of Allahabad district to Prayagraj and had said that other institutes named after the district would soon follow suit, like that of the Allahabad High Court and University. Earlier, the Yogi government had also changed the name of Mughalsarai Junction to Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction.

Read also: Gujarat government says ready to rename Ahmedabad to Karnavati, faces criticism

In July this year, Amit Shah had met with seers and ascetics in Allahabad, inspected Kumbh preparations and offered prayers at temples in the district. The apex body of ascetics in the country, Akhara Parishad, besides several political leaders, had demanded that the name of ‘Allahabad’ be changed to ‘Prayagraj’, with the grand Kumbh Mela slated for early next year.

Recently, while speaking at ‘Deepotsav’, a special event hosted on Diwali eve in the pilgrim town of Ayodhya, Yogi Adityanath had announced that Faizabad district will now be known as Ayodhya. BJP government in Gujarat also proposed the name change of Ahmedabad to Karnavati if it does not attract any legal hurdle.

Read also: Rename Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, Osmanabad as Dharashiv: Shiv Sena’s demand after Yogi rechristens Faizabad

Demand for the name change of Agra was also put forward by a UP legislator, with a BJP MLA from the Taj city demanding to rename it as Agravan, saying the name Agra has no meaning. In a letter to UP CM, MLA from Agra North, Jagan Prasad Garg said there were many ‘van’ (forests) and Agarwals (followers of Maharaja Agrasen) in Agra, and therefore, the city’s name should be changed to ‘Agravan’.

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