Allahabad: Allahabad may soon have a new identity. Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh has written a letter to Governor Ram Naik demanding that Allahabad – the seat of a high court – as Prayag.
News agency ANI quoted Siddarth Nath Singh as saying, “UP Governor Ram Naik [then an MP from Maharashtra] had helped ‘Bombay’ to be renamed as ‘Mumbai’. I have written to him to consider renaming Allahabad as Prayag.”
Interestingly the move follows reports that the Yogi Adityanath government is already in the process of rechristening Allahabad as Prayagraj or Prayag. A decision in this regard is expected to be notified before next year’s Kumbh fair.
During a visit to Allahabad in May this year, a group of Hindu saints led by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad had made a representation to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to rename the city as Prayagraj. Adityanath had gone to Allahadbad to formally announce the dates of ‘shahi snan’ (holy dip) for 2019 Kumbh Mela.
It was reported then that Yogi Adityanath had accepted the proposal of the parishad. He reportedly assured the delegation that his government would send a proposal to the Centre for approval.
During the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar, Prayag had been renamed as Allahabad in 1580. Allahabad literally means the place of Allah as believed by Akbar. In 2001, when the current Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he had favoured renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj but the proposal could not see the light of the day.