Locals complained that youngsters had stopped receiving marriage proposals from other villages owing to the ‘Muslim-sounding’ name of their village.
Rajasthan: Months before the Assembly elections in BJP ruled Rajasthan, three villages in the state were renamed to sound ‘less Islamic.’
Ismail Khurd, Miyon ka Bara and Narpada, were renamed as Pichanwa Khurd, Mahesh Nagar and Narpura respectively, on Thursday.
The Rajasthan government, with Vasundhara Raje as CM, had sent three separate proposals to the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this year, and they were passed after the ministry received no objections from the Ministry of Railways, Department of Posts and Survey of India which conveyed that no railway station, no post office and no village existed with the new names.
Separate reasons for the rechristening have come from officials and locals. With much controversy around the recent name change of Mughalsarai junction to Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction in Uttar Pradesh, this move was seen as divisive by the opposition.
“According to sources, the decision was taken after local residents in these villages complained of the ‘Muslim-sounding’ names of their villages. The village of ‘Miyon Ka Bara’ in the border district of Barmer is one such example. The village, with a population of around 2,000 people, is a Hindu-majority village. Only four families in the village are Muslim. Locals had reportedly asked the district administration to change the name of the village since they were “embarrassed” by it,” reported News18.
“An official said locals had complained that young people in their village had stopped receiving marriage proposals from other neighbouring villages owing to the ‘Muslim-sounding’ name of the village. “In future, this village will be known, identified and addressed by its changed name ‘Mahesh Nagar’,” a state government circular, dated August 1, read,” the report said.
“However, BJP MLA from Siwana in Barmer, Hameersingh Bhayal, claimed that the demand to rename Miyon ka Bara was 10 years old and it was renamed Mahesh Nagar due to the presence of a Shiva deity in the village. “It has been named Mahesh Nagar due to the presence of Shiva in the village. Earlier too, this place was referred to as Mahesh Nagar but over a period of time, due to change in dialect and people migrating to the village, everyone started referring to it as Miyon ka Bara,” he said in a report by Indian Express.
“Former sarpanch Hanumant Singh has another theory as to how the village came to be called Miyon Ka Bara. “Till Independence, it was Mahesh Bara. But during settlement, the name was changed to Miyon Ka Bara. It has been renamed to Mahesh Nagar now,” he told ANI. The Home Ministry told the Parliament in March that it had received 27 proposals from different states requesting a change of names for various villages, towns and railway stations,” the report added.
“In March, the Home Ministry had informed Parliament that between January 2017 and February 2018, it received 27 proposals from States requesting a change of names of villages, towns and railway stations. Rajasthan submitted eight proposals, including Miyon Ka Bara,” reported The Hindu.