Allahabad to be renamed ‘Prayagraj’

After renaming ‘Mughalsarai’ railway station as ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar’ after BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Uttar Pradesh government may soon rechristen Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath is said to have accepted the demand made by the members of All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP). After an hour long meeting with the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath here on Tuesday, AIAP president Mahant Narendra Giri told this to journalists.

All India Akhara Parishad (AIAP) is an apex body of Hindu seers. The AIAP president Mahant Narendra Giri said that the saints had proposed to the chief minister to rechristen Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’, to which the CM immediately agreed.

Though the meeting was held to review the preparation of the ‘Ardhakumbha’ (a religious congregation on the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers) scheduled to be held in Allahabad in 2019, but the members of Akhara Parishad also raised the issue of fake babas who are defaming Hindu religion. The AIAP also urged the chief minister not to allow such ‘fake’ babas to take part in the ‘Ardhakumbha’.

Irked by the recent controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, ABAP on Sunday released a list of 14 “fake babas” including the names like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Rampal, Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, and demanded a crackdown on “rootless cult leaders” by bringing in a legislation. The meeting was attended by nearly 26 seers representing 13 different akharas of the country. Mahant Giri said that the CM assured that he will take stringent action against fake babas.

It must be recalled that in 2001, the then chief minister Rajnath Singh and the then governor Vishnu Kant Shastri had assured to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj but could not fulfil the promise.

The members of AIAP claim that Allahabad was known as ‘Prayagraj’ in the olden times. Mughal emperor Akbar had in 1575 given the town the name ‘Allahabad’, which in Persian meant ‘place of god’.