7th November 2023, Mumbai: The city of Aligarh finds itself at the crossroads of change, as the Aligarh Municipal Corporation embarks on a journey to potentially rechristen it as Harigarh. If this proposal receives the state government’s blessing, Aligarh will join the ranks of cities in Uttar Pradesh that have undergone significant name transformations. The list includes Allahabad’s transformation into Prayagraj, Mughal Sarai’s rebranding as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar, and Faizabad’s evolution into Ayodhya.
The Resounding March for ‘Harigarh’
The call for this name change has resonated throughout Aligarh’s history. In 2021, the Aligarh Zila Panchayat passed a resolution advocating the renaming of Aligarh to Harigarh. Astonishingly, this desire has deep-seated origins dating back to the 1970s when the Aligarh unit of the Hana Sangh party voiced its support for this change. Echoes of this sentiment reverberate among several leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), who contend that Harigarh is the city’s original name, enshrined in Hindu mythology.
The Historical Importance of Aligarh’s Name
Delving into the annals of history, one discovers that Aligarh’s name has undergone a captivating transformation. Since the 13th century CE, it was known as ‘Kol’ or ‘Koil.’ However, a pivotal shift occurred in the 1740s CE when the Mughal commander Mirza Najaf bestowed the name Aligarh upon this vibrant city, marking a significant juncture in its nomenclature.
Unanimous Support for a New Identity of Harigarh
In a recent meeting, the stage was set for the proposal to change Aligarh’s name to Harigarh. What stands out is the unanimous support from all councillors who rallied behind this decision. The proposal is now poised for submission to the administration, raising hopes that the administration will recognize and act upon the long-standing demand to rename Aligarh as Harigarh. The mayor of Aligarh, Prashant Singhal, expressed optimism, echoing the persistence of this plea for a name change.
The Ongoing Issue of Aligarh’s Identity
As Aligarh contemplates the possibility of becoming Harigarh, the city’s identity remains at the center of a evolving narrative. The decision rests in the hands of the state government, which will consider this transformative proposal. As history and culture intertwine, the name change holds the potential to add a new chapter to the legacy of this city, reinforcing its place in the history of Uttar Pradesh’s ever-evolving urban landscape.
1. Why is Aligarh considering changing its name to Harigarh?
Answer: Aligarh is considering a name change to Harigarh, following a historical and cultural movement and the unanimous support of its councillors.
2. What are some other cities in Uttar Pradesh that have undergone name transformations?
Answer: Some cities in Uttar Pradesh that have undergone name transformations include Allahabad (Prayagraj), Mughal Sarai (Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar), and Faizabad (Ayodhya).
3. What is the historical significance of Aligarh’s name?
Answer: Aligarh’s name has evolved over the centuries, with a pivotal shift occurring in the 1740s CE when it was renamed by Mughal commander Mirza Najaf.
4. Who supports the name change from Aligarh to Harigarh?
Answer: The call for the name change to Harigarh has deep-seated origins, with support from Aligarh Zila Panchayat, the Hana Sangh party, and leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
5. What is the role of the state government in the decision to change the city’s name?
Answer: The decision to change Aligarh’s name to Harigarh rests with the state government, which will consider the proposal.
6. Who is the mayor of Aligarh, and what is his stance on the name change?
Answer: The mayor of Aligarh, Prashant Singhal, supports the name change and expressed optimism regarding the proposal to rename Aligarh as Harigarh.
By Yashika Desai