Shimla: Haryana government's decision to rename Gurgaon district as 'Gurugram' has inspired the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to ask for renaming of Shimla to Shyamla.
As per a report in Indian Express, the demand has been rejected by the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh but the VHP is in the favour of changing the name for mythological reasons and not so much historical.
Manoj Singh, general secretary of the VHP’s state unit says the name ‘Shimla’ is derived from the Hindu Goddess Shyamala Devi, as per the Daily.
She is the incarnation of Kali.
Singh adds that ‘Shimla’ is symbolic of abeyance to British rule in sovereign India.
“The Britishers were very wise in their choice for places and Shimla perhaps aptly suited their needs being an isolated green hill top. The climatic conditions attracted the British to establish the city in the dense forests of Himalayas. It was free from human inhabitation and whatever habitations existed then were in the peripheral foothills, not at the top of the hill. If we allow the demand to change its name, that will be complete negation of the history, and could also be an unending process,” the Daily quotes Dr Chetan Singh, Director Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) and a noted historian, as saying.
Simla, as it was known originally, became Shimla in 1974.
Meanwhile, HP CM Virbhadra Singh said, “If we keep changing names just for the heck of it there will be no end to it," as per the Daily.
On the other hand, Dinesh Malhotra, a former Deputy Commissioner of Shimla said that he did find a mention of Shyamla during his research when he was working on the book on ‘DCs of Shimla’ based on the 200 years of the town,
On April 12 this month, the decision to rename Gurgoan district as Gurugram was taken by the BJP government claiming that people of the area had been making a demand in this regard.
An official spokesman said the decision to change the name was taken on the basis of the representations received in several fora, an official spokesman had said, as per PTI.
Legend has it that Gurgaon derived its name from the name of Guru Dronacharya, the master of archery in Mahabharata who tutored the Pandavas.
The village was given as gurudakshina to him by his students - the Pandavas - and hence it came to be known as Guru-gram, which in course of time is said to have got distorted to Gurgaon.
"Haryana is a historic land of the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a centre of learning," the spokesman had said.
"It had been known as Gurgaon since the times of Guru Dronacharya. Gurgaon was a great center of education where the princes used to be provided education. Therefore, since long the people of the area had been demanding that Gurgaon be renamed as Gurugram," he had reasoned.
(With Agency inputs)