Changing names continues in UP: After Allahabad, Faizabad renamed as Ayodhya
On the day of Diwali, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath renamed Faizabad district to Ayodhya. This is the second time in less than a month that Adityanath changed the name of a major place in his state.
The announcement comes days after the UP CM changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, which he justified two days ago with a reference to Duryodhana and Ravana, the mythological antagonists of Mahabharata and Ramayana, respectively.
Stressing that Ayodhya is the “symbol of our honour, prestige, and pride”, the 46-year-old CM said that the city’s identity is with Lord Ram.
“No one should be able to take away the memory of Lord Ram from your minds. We celebrate Deepawali in memory of Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile,” he said.
Without naming anyone, the CM said, “No Chief Minister ever used to visit Ayodhya. I have visited it six times.”
On 16 October, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved a proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, senior Cabinet minister Siddhartha Nath Singh said, “Rig Veda, Mahabharat and Ramayana also mention Prayagraj (for Allahabad).”
“The people of entire Allahabad, the sages and seers wanted that Allahabad should be known as Prayagraj. Two days back, when the chief minister had chaired a meeting pertaining to Kumbh there, he had himself mooted that Allahabad should be called Prayagraj. All the sages and seers had given their unanimous approval for the same,” he added.
The city was renamed Allahabad by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Before him, Akbar had built a fort near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna which was called Allahabad. Till before the UP government’s decision, only the site of the Sangam area was called Prayag.
The CM said that a new medical college will be established in Ayodhya which will be named after King Dasharatha and construct an airport here named after Lord Ram. Plans for the expansion of electric lines and the cleaning of River Saryu were also announced by the CM.
But there was no announcement of a statue for Lord Ram, in spite of a growing chorus for the same to be built in Ayodhya. The CM also avoided any mention of Ram temple, in spite of a growing clamour for a legislation to pave the way for the construction of the temple if the Supreme Court did not deliver a verdict soon.
Earlier today, the UP CM and the South Korean First Lady laid the foundation stone for Queen Heo Hwang-ok’s Memorial. According to some accounts, princess Suriratna from Ayodhya married Korean King Kim-Suro in 1st century AD and became Queen Hur Hwang-ok.
First Lady Kim Jung-sook arrived in Lucknow on Monday evening on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh. She was received at the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Amausi by the CM.