'Shah is a Persian word, BJP should consider changing Amit Shah's name': Historian Irfan Habib takes jibe at party's name-changing spree
'Shah is a Persian word. And it is not derived from Sanskrit. They should first change his name before renaming cities,' said professor Irfan Habib.
Noted historian Professor Irfan Habib on Sunday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should change the name of its president Amit Shah as his surname is of Persian origin. Professor Habib's statement adds spice to the ongoing political controversy over the name changing spree kicked off by the BJP.
"BJP should consider changing the name of its president Amit Shah, as his surname is of Persian origin," he said.
Speaking to ANI, Professor Habib said that the BJP's clamour over renaming towns and cities was a part of their Hindutva ideology.
"This name changing spree by the BJP is a part of their Hindutva ideology, which clearly says that there will be no Islamic names for cities. Shah is a Persian word. And it is not derived from Sanskrit. They should first change his name before renaming cities," said Professor Habib.
Talking about the history behind the names of Allahabad and Ahmedabad, the noted historian said, "The city of Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmed Shah of Gujarat. Before that, there was a nearby city called Karnavati. There is no connection between these two. Similarly, when Akbar constructed a fort, it was called 'Illahabas'. In both Hindi and Urdu, it became "Illahabad". When the Britishers came (to India), it was called as Allahabad. Prayag is a different thing. It represents the confluence of rivers, which is 'Sangam'. Changing the name from Allahabad to Prayag is wrong."
Continuing his tirade against the BJP, Professor Habib underlined that the name changing is an attempt to separate the culture of the minorities. "The Muslim rulers who ruled earlier belonged to different castes...did they say that we are slaves and we want independence? Such things are wrong," the historian further said.
Reacting to Habib's comment, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that those raising questions over the renaming drive lacked knowledge of history and tradition. "I don't think there is a need to react to their remarks," he was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
Om Prakash Rajbhar, the chief of SBSP, an ally of the BJP, also recently took a dig at the saffron party's changing of names, saying that the party should change the names of its Muslim leaders first. "Should we throw away the GT Road? Who built the Red Fort? Who built the Taj Mahal?," he asked.
In the past few days, the BJP has been on a name-changing spree, with the Uttar Pradesh government renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj, while mulling to rename other cities and towns. Recently, state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the renaming of Faizabad to Ayodhya. The Gujarat government has proposed to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati. A BJP legislator, Raja Singh, representing Goshamahal assembly constituency, had also said that if the party came to power in Telangana, then Hyderabad would be renamed as Bhagyanagar. Recently, Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh was also renamed as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Junction.
With inputs from ANI
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