After changing the names of Mughalsarai, Allahabad and Faizabad, BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh ask to rename more places associated with the Mughal and Islamic rulers.
Muzaffarnagar, Agra and Sultanpur are among the subjects that are the subject of an open discussion.
Sangeet Som, MP for Meerut, said Muzaffarnagar would soon be renamed Laxminagar, while his colleague from Agra North, Jagan Prasad Garg, had asked that the city of Taj Mahal call Agravan or Agrawal. Another BJP deputy, Deomani Dwivedi, had already presented in August a resolution to the assembly asking to rename Sultanpur Kushbhawanpur, according to the son of Lord Ram, Kush.
Mr. Garg said that the old name of Agra was Agravan, derived from the community of Agarwal traders who lived there and the Hindi word for "forests", van. He wrote to Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath to ask him to change his name. "Agravan has a feeling …[The Islamic era rulers] had imposed such names of slavery and changed the name of Agravan to Agra, "said Mr. Garg, justifying his request.
Mr Som said the request was aimed at "restoring" the Indian culture, in particular "Hindutva", which the Mughals had "tried to suppress".
He said that Muzaffarnagar's name change request was backed by long-standing public sentiment. When asked if he had any antecedents or a quote showing that Muzaffarnagar had previously called Laxminagar, Mr. Som was evasive. "It is common knowledge," he said, adding that the material could be found freely on the Internet.
There is however no mention of Agravan or Laxminagar in the official history archive. The 1976 district nomenclature states that Muzaffarnagar was founded during the Shahjahan period on the site of an old town called Sarwar. He was named after one of his ministers, Abdul Muzaffar Khan, who had received 40 villages in Jagir (grant), and laid the foundation for a new city, completed by his son Abul Mansur Khan and named Muzaffarnagar in honor of his late father. "Sarwar was the capital of his property, but at that time it was almost deserted," says the observer.
The official documents of Agra dating from 1905 indicate that although it was suggested that the word comes from Agarwal Banias, agar (salt shaker), agar (home) ) or "agu (fire)," none seems likely ".
Laiqh Ahmed, Mughal expert and retired professor from Allahabad University, says that the name Agra has no connection with the Agarwal community but that it is derived from the expression ag-i-ra, meaning "it's further".
The story, according to him, is the following. Going down the Yamuna in search of a new capital – the one that already existed was Delhi- – in 1504, Sultanate ruler Ibrahim Lodi had stopped at a place he considered fit rise . He asked the captain of the crew if this place was conducive to housing.
The captain responded by saying: "Ag-i-ra"
who became Agra.
Mr. Ahmed says that this is in the chapter on Lodis from the Complete History of India – Volume Vl, The Delhi Sultanate, published by the Congress of Indian History.
He also argues that Muzaffarnagar has no connection with the word Laxmi.
Sohail Hashmi, a university scholar, asked BJP leaders to produce historical evidence linking Muzaffarnagar and Agra in Laxminagar and Agravan. "If there is a link, show us the documents … they must be in Sanksrit, Pali or Prakrit languages," he said.
Uttar Pradesh government spokesman Shrikant Sharma said the government "would definitely take into consideration" more requests for "restoration" of place names.
"We are only correcting mistakes and alterations in the past," he said, adding that the government would take any initiative regarding "Indian history and culture."
The BJP-led government has been criticized in the form of its ally and minister, Om Prakash Rajbhar, who said that the name change was only a drama to divert the attention of the voices backward and oppressed to demand their rights.
He said the contribution of Muslims to India was unprecedented. Mocking the BJP, he said, when he was so intolerant towards Muslims, he should first change the name of his three faces, Mohsin Raza, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.