| Mulayam Singh
Lucknow, Oct. 25: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has joined the game of renaming places and institutions by deciding to restore Lucknow medical college its original name.
The government yesterday decided to call the institution King George’s Medical College (KGMC), the name it was given at its inception in 1905. On September 16, 2002, former chief minister Mayavati had rechristened the medical college Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Chikitsa Vishwavidyalaya.
A few days ago, the Mulayam Singh government had decided to turn the clock back on another decision of the earlier regime — renaming Amethi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar.
Both these decisions of Mayavati had evoked strong protests, but the former chief minister had ignored them.
In the Gandhi family bastion of Amethi, both the Congress and the BJP had launched agitations to retain the old name of the constituency, which forms part of Rae Bareli and Sultanpur districts.
In Lucknow, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lok Sabha constituency, doctors and students of medicine had termed the renaming of the medical college in the city after the Dalit icon a “perversion of history”.
“The identity of the prestigious King George’s Medical College — now elevated as an university and bracing for its centenary celebrations in 2005 — has been restored in view of representations by its faculty and the student community,” said Uttar Pradesh chief secretary A.P. Singh, while briefing newsmen last night about the cabinet decision.
The government has also decided in principle to upgrade the dental faculty of KGMC as a full-fledged university. Ordinances to this effect would be promulgated soon, Singh said.
The college’s alumni were jubilant on hearing about the decision to restore the original name of the institution. Teachers described it as the best Diwali gift they would have got. Students and employees celebrated with fireworks.
S.D. Pandey, a retired professor who spearheaded the campaign for reverting the name of the medical college, was seen distributing sweets all over the campus.
Pandey, who is also the secretary general of the International Association of KGMC Alumni, thanked alumni all over the world for joining the campaign to restore the college its old name.
“We Georgians were facing problems the world over as most reputed medical research centres, governments of various countries in the west, hospitals and international universities, still know (the institution as) KGMC and the new name was a totally new to them,” he said.