New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government after a plea was filed there against the state government changing the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj. A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant issued the notice on a plea filed by the Allahabad Heritage Society.
In its plea, the Society argued that the state government cannot change the names of railway stations, central universities and other institutes as they are controlled by the Centre. Notably, the Centre had approved the name change last January.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced the name change on the occasion of Dussehra in 2018. Days later, Faizabad district too was renamed as Ayodhya the day before Diwali. Defending its move, the BJP government in the state had said that the renaming was a ‘long-standing demand’ of people. In an official statement, the government said that there was a ‘delusion’ that the city was always called Allahabad, in order to clear which it was reasonably legal to restore the original name, which, it said, was ‘Prayagraj.’
The government had also indicated that the Allahabad University, too, would be rechristened to Prayagraj University.
Amid stinging criticism from the opposition, scholars and historians, Chief Minister Adityanath had said, “Some people asked what’s the point in changing the name? So, I said why didn’t their parents named them as ‘Raavan’ and ‘Duryodhan’ in that case. In this country, the name holds a lot of significance. In this country, maximum names are related to Ram’s and in scheduled caste, most people have attached Ram with their names. The name connects us with our glorious tradition.”
The Allahabad High Court has already dismissed a plea challenging the name change.