Shimla, Shyamala is knocking
The BJP government in Himachal Pradesh is considering a proposal to change the name of the state capital Shimla to Shyamala, the picturesque hill station becoming the latest possible entrant into the list of renamed cities.
State health minister Vipin Singh Parmar said that cities in various parts of the country had historical names that were changed. If the people want Shimla to be renamed Shyamala, the proposal can be considered, Parmar told PTI.
The proposal comes at a time the Yogi Adityanath cabinet in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh has approved the state government’s decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
If the Centre approves, key institutions like the University of Allahabad will be renamed University of Prayagraj and Allahabad High Court will become Prayagraj High Court.
The Adityanath government had earlier renamed Mughalsarai city after Jana Sangh founder and RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya.
The plan to rename Shimla has left people divided.
Himachal Congress leader Harbhajan Singh Bhajji opposed the proposal to rename Shimla. “What is the justification?” Bhajji asked.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad functionary Aman Puri said the popular retreat was originally called Shyamala but the then British rulers found the name tough to pronounce and renamed the city Simla, which later became Shimla.