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Can history be undone by changing names of places and landmarks?
This write up is triggered by the ruckus about the renaming of Moghulsarai station as Deen Dayal Upadhayay railway station.

Remains of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are a testimony to a culture which thrived along the Indus River valley. Western historians would make us believe, that the Indus Valley civilisation was the handiwork of the superior Aryans, who invaded from the North West. And this pure Aryan race had its civilising effect on the backward natives.

Today, a multi disciplinary approach and DNA tracking has established that Aryans never invaded our subcontinent. This race has been there all along in the areas we know today as Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Persia.

The above mentioned case of remote antiquity, resulting in various theories is one matter. But denying actual well documented historical happenings, place names and monuments is another matter. It is a farcical, self deceptive imposition of a dogma – and whitewashing one's past. History should be learnt, just as it happened and not as we would have liked it to have happened! Painful, though it may have been.

Coming to my own adopted city Mumbai, I have been an amused and concerned witness to this game of charades. As a part of political gamesmanship, each party wanted to be one up on the other, in the renaming game. In 1995, Bombay was changed to Mumbai with much celebration. But in the long term, 'Bombay' stands for all that was good about the premier city and 'Mumbai' stands synonymous with corrupt and poor local governance – a potholed metropolis! However, some institutions have refused to bend and continue to call themselves: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the Bombay High Court.

Once again, the iconic Crawford Market was renamed Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market. I have great respect for Mahatma Phule, the great social reformer, but giving his name to a Gothic building is totally outlandish! It would have been apt to name the next new public building, in traditional Maratha architectural style and naming it after the great Mahatma Phule. The real irony is that even the locals and the taxi wallahs continue to call it Crawford market, even today!

When the previous Bombay International airport was built, the government wanted to name it after the great aviation pioneer, JRD Tata. But the House of Tatas refused to accept this honour, as the new building was shoddy and did not meet international standards. No one felt any lack of propriety, in promptly naming a substandard structure as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

After our Independence, a history revisionist Shri PN Oak, appeared on the scene and wrote a series of articles in Caravan, claiming: ' ……… that Christianity and Islam are both derivatives of Hinduism, or that Vatican City, Kaaba, Westminster Abbey and the Taj Mahal were once Hindu temples to Shiva . ……………that the Vatican was originally a Vedic creation called Vatika and that the Papacy was also originally a Vedic Priesthood.'

It is worth speculating, if the future 15th August speeches of the Prime Minister of India will be given from Red Fort, built by Shah Jahan?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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