By Muslim Mirror Desk,
Historian Irfan Habib on Sunday responded to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) name changing spree and said that the party should change names of their members first. Referring to the party president Amit Shah’s name, Habib pointed out that Shah itself is a Persian name and is not derived from Sanskrit.
The 87-year-old Aligarh Muslim University professor emeritus added, “Even the term Gujarat itself is of Persian origin. It was called Gurjaratra earlier. They should also change it.”
Habib said that if the BJP is changing the names of cities, they should first start with their own names, news agency ANI reported, adding, “The BJP governments’ renaming spree is very much in line with the RSS’s Hindutva policy. Just like the neighbouring country Pakistan where everything that is not Islamic has been removed, BJP and right-wing supporters want to change things which are non-Hindu, particularly of Islamic origin.”
Reacting to the proposal to rename Agra, Habib said, “The entire history of Maharaja Agrasen is mythical. It’s nothing but fiction. Secondly, the Agrawal community claims its origin from Agroha in Haryana, and not Agra. So, both the arguments for renaming the city do not hold water.”
“We first hear the term ‘Agra’ during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi in the 15th century but before that, the area was more prominently known as Doab – land between Ganga and Yamuna,” the historian said.
Earlier on Saturday, UP Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar had given a similar remark stating that the BJP should first change the names of their Muslim leaders before changing the names of cities.
Rajbhar’s comment comes after Yogi Adityanath changed names of a few towns in Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath had changed the name of Mughalsarai Railway Station to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction.Allahabad’s name was changed to Prayagraj while Faizabad’s name was changed to Ayodhya.