The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on 16th October 2018, adopted a proposal for renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj, a move opposed by the opposition parties in the state. But the state government said it is restoring an old name for the city. “Today, the BJP government has rectified the mistake made by Akbar,” a state BJP spokesperson said. Government spokesperson and cabinet minister, Siddhartha Nath Singh, said that the name change was a long-standing demand of the people. However, on Twitter and other social platforms, many argued that nothing would change in the city thanks to the new name. Amidst all the pandemonium it is safe to say that the meme lords of the internet had the most fun from Yogi Adityanath’s historic decision.
Twitterati’s Diwali Celebration
Soon after the news of Allahabad being renamed to Prayagraj went viral, we found various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with memes targeting the UP Government’s decision. The memes featured UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and hilariously trolled the iconic decision. The memes featured images of Yogi and famous personalities like Michael Jackson and how Yogi renames them into hilarious Hindu counterparts as Michael Jackson was changed to ‘Mai ka lal Jai Kishan’ and many more.
What purpose will changing the name of the city serve? Will the people of the city have better infrastructure, more jobs?? The name has been changed because Yogi didn’t like the ‘Allah’ in #Allahabad. We can’t pretend to be so naive https://t.co/Iv4vtA5Y5a
— seemi pasha (@seemi_pasha) October 16, 2018
Amidst the proposal for renaming Allahabad, many BJP leaders are speaking in favor of the decision. However, they failed to convincingly answer the question. That is why this move is into implementation right now. At a time when 2019 elections were around the corner. Was Allahabad renamed to Prayagraj, to establish Hindu supremacy and dominance? All these questions remain unanswered, however, BJP leaders did face the media and delivered some intriguing statements regarding this decision.
Rectification of mistake by BJP
UP Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Manish Shukla said, “The mentality with which Mughal emperor Akbar changed the people are opposing the name of the city.”
“Today, the BJP government has rectified the mistake made by Akbar,” he added.
“Rig Veda, Mahabharata, and Ramayana also mention Prayagraj,” he said. He also mentioned that Adityanath had recalled a proposal. For renaming Allahabad ahead of the 2019 Kumbh Mela he visited the city.
Changing names of places is nothing but an assertion of nativism & tribal identity. I think name-change would be alright provided it was preceded by real glory–development, growth & prosperity. Vacuous nativism is bunkum. No difference in #Prayagraj or #Allahabad if both stink.
— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) October 16, 2018
All these political statements are unclear to the general public. Owing to their mysterious grounds and BJP’s pro-Hindu reputation.
Through this historic decision, the BJP government has once again established its supremacy. In the Indian political system the decision for renaming Allahabad remains unchanged even though various opposition parties opposed the decision. The consequences and implications of these actions will unfold with the passage of time. But for now, people can laugh at the memes. These memes are flooding the social platforms and hope they do not turn out to be a reality.