In a bid to end oppressive mental slavery of the past, India is likely to rename British colonial government’s former summer capital, Simla located in country’s northern Himalayan region.
The local unit of country’s Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in Shimla wants to rename the hill town established by the British in 1864 after the name of Hindu goddess, Shyamala Devi.
Before the arrival of British to Shimla, the hill town was known as Shyamala. Himachal Pradesh state chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said last week that his government would seek opinion of the people on the demand to rename the historic hill town.
Hindu right wing organisations, such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu Council are also urging the concerned for Shimla’s renaming.
According to VHP head Aman Puri, sticking to the names of the places given by the British oppressors is a symbol of mental slavery. Changing such names is tiny thing but significant step in renouncing it (servitude), Puri noted.
In a bid to resurrect India’s rich past, India’s federal and state governments have started a nationwide movement to rename several towns. In such a move, country’s northern Uttar Pradesh state renamed holy town Allahabad as Prayagraj, the ancient name it was known by five centuries earlier.
Puri of Shimla’s VHP said that British had a problem in pronouncing Shyamala and thus changed its name as Simla, which remained until India’s independence 1947.
However, in 1972, as per the measures undertaken by the Indian government to reorganise the Indian states, the name Simla turned as Shimla and till today the hill town has been known that way.
VHP also urging the government to rename another hill town Dalhousie located in Himachal Pradesh which is named after Dalhousie, India’s governor General from 1848 to 1856 who was notorious for his the doctrine of lapse, an annexation policy.
The VHP wants Dalhousie to be renamed after Subhash Chandra Bose, an anti-British revolutionary.