Shimla to be renamed as Shyamala?

After Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath changed the prominent city Allahabad’s name as `Prayagraj’, many BJP Chief Ministers are not taking clue from him are thinking of changing names of some of prominent cities in theri states.

Now, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is said to be seriously considering to change the name of his state’s capital city Shimla itself. According to government sources, the BJP government is moving ahead to rename the Shimla as Shyamala.

“Before the British arrived, Shimla was known as Shyamala. My government will seek public opinion on the demand for its renaming,” chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said on the sideline of Dussehra festivities at Jakhu temple.

Before taking a final decision on this move, Chief Minister Thakur is seeking public opinion for the renaming exercise. Earlier, in 2016, the then Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had rejected such demands and said that being a global tourist destination, there was no need to change the name of Shimla. But, the present BJP government and its ministers think otherwise. Himachal health minister Vipin Parmar believes that there is ‘no harm’ in changing the name.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been one of the major voices of changing name of Shimla. VHP state chief Aman Puri says that the British could not say Shyamala properly and hence they changed the name to Shimla. He says that since India is free country now, we can go back to the old names. Continuing with the names given by the British is a sign of ‘mental slavery’, he added.

According to historians, the city derived its name from Goddess Shyamala’s, Kali Bari Temple, which  was established in the early 19th century. The present temple was built by the British in 1845. However the original shrine was created by Bengali devotees.

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