Place Names , Street Names and their significance in our lives

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This is a very serious topic and unknowingly have a significance in our lives and have an impact of our nation’s image to the rest of the world. I did a research on this topic and nowhere did I see this Stockholm Syndrome — when hostages or victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even hundreds of years of captivity or abuse. If you see the place names of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, you will see place names after the cruel Invaders from Ghori to Aurangzeb!

First of all, I want to talk about the shock a teacher had when she heard the answer of her student. Teacher : Children name, the “Capital of Pakistan”? One small innocent child said “Delhi”. The teacher was shocked and asked how? The smiling child said “When you visit “India’s capital Delhi”, and  if you take a walk” then, you will come to know that, after leaving “Shah Jahan” road, you will reach “Akbar” road. Going ahead, you take a turn on “Babur” road. Then going straight ahead you will go through “Humayun” road.  Later you get a roundabout, from where you will enter “Tughlaq” Lane!!! Proceed on “Aurangzeb” road and you reach “Safdarjung” road.!! After this, go through “Tughlaqabad” and “Jamia Nagar” to reach “Qutub Minar” and when you start to suffocate in this Sufiyan environment then…..”Go through  “Sarai Kalekhan” to reach “Nizamuddin” railway station, sit in the “train” to go to your city, and go back home!!!!  And “sitting at home”, keep thinking…. Is Delhi” the “Capital of India”. Or “Pakistan”????

This has happened to me many times in my life. Thanks to left-influenced curriculum in these countries, you are taught not to be proud of your own heritage especially ancient history from the Indus Valley Civilization to Prithviraj Chauhan. Pakistan named a missile after Ghori. Isn’t the history of the three countries linked and the same till 1947? To add to the list Nalanda station was named as Bhaktiyarpur after the cruel tyrant Bhaktiyar Khilji who destroyed the treasure trove – one of the oldest University in the world Nalanda University, where in those time foreigners came to study. There is again Aurangabad named after the cruelest invader Aurangzeb, who almost destroyed India and her culture.

Our history books glorify these invaders from Class VII, when innocent children are taught about the greatness of Mughals, Khiljis, Ghori etc., are taught as the curriculum was made by the Left-oriented historians. I happened to read Pakistani history and it is the same story. Even Mughal architecture is given importance over our ancient architecture, which was created keeping modern science in mind, thousand of years ago like Konark Temple in Orissa, or Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. There are many temples and forts more beautiful than Red Fort or even Taj Mahal, but they are never appreciated. The tombs of these Invaders are well maintained spending crores of taxpayer’s money, while no national memorial for our heroes like Shivaji Mahara, Rani Lakshmibai or Maharana Pratap. Even Aurangzeb’s wife’s tomb is well maintained!

Do not be surprised if you see a Ghori Street or Taimur Lane anywhere in the three countries. Why is this happening. Is it Stockholm Syndrome as I said before or any other reason? Will you see a Bin Laden Street in New York or Hitler Street in Israel? No, would be the answer. The world thinks badly of us because of this behavior. I remember once, some American friends of mine wanted to see Nalanda University, I told them to alight at Bhaktiyarpur Station. Their shocked reaction was “Isn’t he the guy who burned the University”? They asked why are places in India, named after invaders. I had no answer to their questions and hung my head in shame. Even history teachers in school sing praises of these invaders.

The first step in the right direction was taken by the UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath, when he renamed Allahabad as Prayag Raj after 500 years. Hope many other cities are given their old names. Ahmedabad as Karnavati, Ajmer as Ajayameru, Patna as Pataliputa and Goa as Gomantak and the list goes on…. What we did was to change British names into Indian names, so I would be right in thinking we got Independence from the 200 years of British rule and not 800 years of other Invaders. Do we lack names of nationalists, the many millions who gave up their lives for us? Do we have streets named after Puroshattam, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Chandragupta Vikramaditya, Samudragupta, Prithviraj Chauhan, Shivaji Maharaj, Shambaji, Maharana Pratap, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad, Veer Savarkar and Netaji. Luckily, there is SV Road named after Swami Vivekananda, and Rani Lakshmi Bai Chowk in Bombay. Pakistan took a great step in renaming in a Chowk in Lahore after Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk, as Bhagat Singh was born in Lyalpur, Lahore District.

Hope we will see a positive change in the curriculum as well as our city names.

Anupama Nair


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