Vantage point

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

SomeAchaar - Delhi to be renamed

New Delhi - The Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit announced today that the capital of the country will change its name back to what it was in the pre-colonial-pre-mughal-pre-sultan-pre-everything-else-except-Mahabharat days. However there is no consensus on the exact name that should be chosen.

After the renaming of all major Indian cities in the last decade, Delhi is feeling left out, Dixit said. Bombay became Mumbai, Madras became Chennai, Calcutta became Kolkatta, and just a couple of days back, it was announced that Bangalore would become Bengaluru. Dixit says, this made everyone focus their sights on Delhi, since it was the oldest city in India. The Congress proposes that Delhi be renamed Hastinapur, since it was the capital of the dynasty of the Kurus from Mahabharat.

"Delhi is a name that indicates our mental slavery at the hands of our former colonialists and conquerers. The oldest name of the city is Hastinapur and we shall initiate the legislative procedure to effect the name change immediately", Dixit said.

However controversy erupted after the BJP strongly opposed the choice of the name. Senior BJP leader from Delhi, Madanlala Khurana said,

"We support the idea of a name change. In fact the idea for a name change was originally BJP's. However we think that the city should be renamed Indraprastha, since there is historical, archeological and mythological evidence to prove that Delhi was actually the site of the Pandavas' new capital."

The BJP has threatened a nation-wide agitation to garner support for the name 'Indraprastha'. Khurana also spoke about taking the case to court, and bringing in the ASI(Archaeological Survey of India) to excavate in locations all over Delhi and settle the issue.

The Left meanwhile opposed both names.

"The BJP's communal intentions are clear from their support for the name Indraprastha, which refers to a Hindu god. To preserve the secular nature of this country, we will never allow it to be named Indraprastha", thundered Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M). He was not very enthusiastic about the name Hastinapur either.

"If anything, we propose the name be changed to Leningrad. The great Vladimir Ilyich is now no longer respected in his own country Russia. At the same time his idelogical contributions to the cause of the Indian people is immense."

It will be interesting to see which name is finally chosen.