What’s in a name?
Right now a wind has taken a toll on this nation, a wind that is black and bitter, a wind filled with the poison of communalism. This wind is affecting every religion, every single human being and every aspect of our life by making everything like itself; black and bitter.
For instance, the wind has changed the name of so many cities in the nation. It all started when the name of Mughal Sarai Railway Station was changed to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Railway Station. The same wind changed Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya. So many other parts of the nation have been affected by this wind. Like Ahmedabad might be called Karnavati, Agra might be called Agrawal and Aurangabad might be called Shambhajinagar. You must have read or heard about all of this, let’s talk about its other vital aspects.
The first of the questions that arise are – How would it affect the present by changing the name of a city?
Would changing the name to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Railway Station make the lives of those better who are living on the railway station? Would they get a home to live? Would changing the name to Prayagraj would help its youth to get employment? Would changing the name to Ayodhya help those who are sleeping hungry to bed? Would Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya come back? Actually, the people who are changing these names are in fact still living in their so-called remarkable history and mythological stories which were the ‘reasons’ for the name change. These people are either so innocent or they think that just by changing the names of the cities, their so-called remarkable history would come back. But I feel they are just telling lies. And the result is right in front of you. Neither poverty has gone nor unemployment
One more question is that is this step democratic?
If the people have chosen their leaders, their government, then it means that whatever the government will wish will happen (?). Does the government get the right to take any crucial step like this without asking the people? For example, there are so many people in Ahmedabad who wish to keep the city’s name as Ahmedabad and not change it to Karnavati. Then, isn’t it the government’s duty to consider the people’s opinion? It becomes important to decide that up to which point the government will take decisions without considering the people’s opinion.
One more aspect which should be kept in mind is to take care of the people’s emotions and sentiments that are attached to a place and with a name where they are living. When the government is changing the name without asking for the people’s opinion, without asking for their permission, then the government is, in fact, playing with the people’s emotions.
It is my personal opinion all this is happening to divert the minds of the people. Elections are happening in 5 states. The government wants to divert the minds so that people don’t question poverty, increasing unemployment and also the rising levels of pollution. By changing the names, they are erasing the history in a way and in turn are causing a serious problem. On one hand, problems like poverty, unemployment, and pollution are not ending. On the other hand, another problem is taking a birth and the people, including you, me and everyone is given a lollipop of fake pride and mythological stories so that we don’t utter even a single word.
What I want to tell all of you is that don’t get involved in these petty issues and ask the right question to the ruling power. Has the black money returned? Has poverty ended? Has employment opportunities increased? Has pollution reduced? And most importantly – Has the way of living become better?
Keep asking the right questions!
Written by: Dhrupad Mehta aka Musafir
Translated from Hindi to English by : Purvang Joshi