Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union Home Ministry to set up a Renaming Commission for finding out the original names of ‘ancient historical, cultural and religious places’, which had been renamed after foreign invaders, in order to maintain the sovereignty of the country, besides securing the right to dignity, religion and culture guaranteed under Articles 21, 25 and 29 of the Constitution.
The petitioner, while citing names of hundreds of such cities, further sought directions to the Archaeological Survey of India for conducting a research and publishing the initial names of ancient historical cultural religious places, which were renamed by barbaric foreign invaders, in order to secure the ‘right to know’ guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution.
The plea contended that the country was celebrating its 75th anniversary of independence, but it still had historical, cultural and religious places named after brutal foreign invaders, their servants and family members.
As per the plea, the invaders had renamed general places, but what was worth noting was that even after completing 75 years, the country was still stuck on those names, which was against the sovereignty, right to dignity, right to religion and right to culture guaranteed under Articles 21, 25 and 29 of the Constitution.
The plea however mentions that the governments has not taken steps to undo the names and remove the injury inflicted.
The plea stated that the reason for change of the name in the Mughal Garden at Rashtrapati Bhawan as ‘Amrit Udyan’ is a great step forward but this is a lone example, the government did nothing to rename the roads named after invaders like Babur Road, Humayun Road, Akbar Road, Jahangir Road, Shahjahan Road, Bahadur Shah Road, Sher Shah Road, Aurangzeb Road, Tughlak Road, Safdarjung Road, Najaf Khan Road, Jauhar Road, Lodhi Road, Chelmsford Road and Hailey Road etc which holds the residences of the Cabinet Ministers, Senior civil servants,Parliamentarians and the Judges, who are custodian of the Constitution of India and protector of fundamental rights.
Talking about the name game,the plea stated that the citizens feel odd that when ‘Pandavas’ with the blessings of Lord Krishna and Balram, converted deserted land into Indraprastha (Delhi) why is there not a single one road, municipal ward, village or assembly constituency in the name of Lord Krishna, Balram, Yudhishthira, Bheema, Arjun, Nakul, Sehdev, Kunti, Draupadi and Abhimanyu.
It is strange to note that on the other hand there are roads, municipal wards, village and constituencies in the name of jnvaders to cane to India.
The petitioner submitted that the It was also in the plea that the name of Nalanda Vihar was named after conversion missionary Sharifuddin Ahmed and called ‘Bihar Sharif’.
The historical city of Karnawati was rechristened after Ahmad Shah and called ‘Ahmedabad’.
The historical Ajatshatru Nagar was named after the barbaric Begu and called ‘Begusarai’.
The Cultural city of dwar Banga which meant a door to Banga was renamed after the cruel ‘Darbhang Khan’ and called ‘Darbhanga’.
The very city ‘Haripur’ (a name of Vishnu)was named after the vicious ‘Haji Shamsuddin Shah’ and called ‘Hajipur’.
The city of Jamalpur was named on a conversion missionary Jamal Baba whereas the original name was Singhjani.
The Vedic city of Videhpur was renamed after Muzaffar Khan and called Muzaffarpur.
Indicting that it is a real blow to religious identity, the plea further pointed out for the sake of peace and to avert a disastrous war, Lord Krishna proposed that if Kauravas gives only five villages viz Indraprastha (Delhi), Swarnprastha (Sonipat), Panprastha (Panipat), Vyaghrprastha (Baghpat) and Tilprastha (Faridabad); the Pandavas wont demand more.
Giving the historical background of Lord Krishnas’ Mahabharata, ‘Tilprastha was later named after the brutal invader Sheikh Farid and now called Faridabad. The petitioner had put forward the historical documents in form of autobiography of Jahangir named Jahangir Nama’ which speaks in length about Sheikh Farid who destroyed temples and converted thousands of Hindus.
Talking of more examples. the plea talks about Narmada Puram which has been named after brutal Hoshang Shah and now called Hoshangabad’
Ahmednagar takes its name from barbaric Ahmad Nizam Shah, who changed Ambikapur after winning the battle against Bahamani forces.
Talking about the eccentric king Muhammad Bin Tughluq who changed the name of Devgiri in 1327 to Daulatabad, the plea stated brutal Tughluq believed that the Hindus will never be submissive and obedient to the Islam unless reduced to abject poverty and destroyed a hundreds of Hindu temple and identities has his name as a city.
The ancient Hindu City of Dharashiv was named after the barbaric Ohman Ali Khan and called Osmanabad. I
Further the ancient city Mokalhar was named after conversion missionary Baba Farid and called Faridkot.
Nizamabad was named after Nizam of Hyderabad. Originally it was Indur and founded by king Indradatta.
The Vedic City Virat which is a important character name in Mahabharata has been named after cruel Hoshiar Khan and called Hoshiarpur.
Karimnagar was named after merciless Syed Karimuddin.
Mahbubnagar was named after Mir Mahbub Ali Khan.
The plea made the Court revisit the name Alipore which is named after Syed Mir Jafar Ali Khan, the traitor who sold out to Robert Clive and played a crucial role in the British victory at Plassey.
Shaktipeeth Kiriteswari was named after barbaric Murshid Quli Khan who imposed harsher punishments on Hindus and the city has been called Murshidabad.
In Uttar Pradesh, holy city Ramgarh became Aligarh after Najaf Khan won the battle.
Gajprastha became Ghaziabad after Ghazi-ud-Din won the battle.
Ghazipur is named after Sayyad Masood Ghazi, the cruel conqueror who symbolises brutality of idol-hating.
Vindhyachal is Mirzapur and Ramganga Nagar became Moradabad.
Ambikanagar became Amroha and Aryamgargh became Azamgarh..
The vedic city Panchal, which was asassociated with none other than the Draupadi(panchali) was renamed after the Farrukhsiyar and called Farrukhabad.
There are many municipal wards like Aminabad, Alambagh, Hussainabad, Khurramnagar, Moulviganj, Akbari Gate in Lucknow; Nayabganj, Fazalganj in Kanpur; Shahganj, Sikandra, Tajganj, Fatehabad in Agra; Sadiqpur, Sahibabad, Sehani Khurd in Ghaziabad; Ahmad Road, Muzaffar Nassim Road, Nawab Yusuf Road, Noorullah Road in Prayag Raj; Abdullapur, Ajampur, Alampur, Ahmedpur, Barkapur in Bareilly; Naurangabad, Wajidpur, Masud Nagar, Salempur in Aligarh; Alamgirpur, Alipur, Mustafabad, Nasrullapur, Saidpur Khurd, Salajuddi in Muzaffarnagar; Hussainpura, Itahad Nagar, Mustafabad in Amritsar; Ferozepur Road, Pakhowal road in Ludhiana: Ambabari, Mirza Ismail Road, Khema-Ka-Kuwa, Jinnah Road in Rajasthan; Habib Ganj, Hamidia Road, Hoshangabad Road, Jahangirabad Sultana Road in Madhya Pradesh.
The petitioner submitted that total number of such villages, wards, towns and cities are around 1000 but government did nothing to change their name till date.
The petitioner has questioned the law on continuing with the names of ancient historical cultural religious places, and said that keeping names like such is against the sovereignty.
The plea has requested the Centre and States for changing the names of ancient historical cultural religious places in their original name.
Advocate Upadhyay in his plea has also asked for a direction to the Centre and state governments for updating their websites and records by mentioning the original and ancient name of all the places that were then under threat or pressure were changed on names of barbaric invaders do that everyone knows about the real name of ancient historical cultural religious places.