In a unanimous decision, the Aligarh Municipal Corporation has approved a proposal to change the city’s name to “Harigarh” following the recent renaming of Allahabad. The proposal, presented by Mayor Prashant Singhal, garnered support from all councillors during a meeting.
Mayor Prashant Singhal said, “In a meeting yesterday, a proposal was presented to change the name of Aligarh to Harigarh. All councillors unanimously supported this. Now, this proposal will be sent to the administration. I hope that the administration will take cognizance of this and fulfill our demand to change the name of Aligarh to Harigarh…This demand has been being raised for a long time,” as quoted by news agency ANI.
The process of renaming a city or area within a state in India involves several steps. After unanimous approval of a proposed name change resolution by the municipal body, it is forwarded to the state government. Afterwards, the state government sends the resolution to the Ministry of Home Affairs for final approval. If the ministry, along with other relevant agencies, endorses the resolution, the state government can officially change the name.
The proposal to rename Aligarh to Harigarh had previously received approval from a zila panchayat meeting in 2021, and it was sent to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Chief Minister Adityanath, known for renaming places, has previously stated, “We did what we felt was good. We renamed Mughal Sarai as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Nagar, Allahabad as Prayagraj, and Faizabad district as Ayodhya district. Where there is a need, the government will take the steps required.”
This renaming trend has been ongoing in Uttar Pradesh since the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in March 2017. Besides city names, the government has also renamed various projects and schemes, such as changing the name of the Purvanchal Expressway, initiated by the previous Samajwadi Party-led government, and the government’s pension scheme, which previously had “Samajwadi” in its name.
The desire to change names is not limited to Aligarh, as members of the ruling BJP have proposed renaming other cities as well. Suggestions include renaming Agra to “Agravan” or “Agarwal” and changing Muzaffarnagar’s name to “Laxmi Nagar.”