UP Cabinet approves changing name of Allahabad to ‘Prayagraj’

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Context:

  • The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the proposal of the state government to rename the city of ‘Allahabad’ as ‘Prayagraj’. The decision has been vehemently opposed by the opposition parties.

More about the city:

  • Allahabad is located at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical, unseen Saraswati.
  • Mughal emperor Akbar is credited with the building of the modern Allahabad city in the 16th century, when he constructed a fort that overlooked the sangam, which then had immense strategic value.
  • It is this Mughal connection that seems to be driving the revanchists who wants to wipe out all references to Mughal history.
  • Akbar is said to have chosen the name Ilahabad for the city to press his syncretic religious idea espoused in the Din-i Ilahi; Ilahabad is the city of gods, its pluralistic heritage includes not just Hindu and Islamic traditions but also a Christian lineage derived from its colonial inheritance.
  • According to state government, Prayag is where Lord Brahma performed the first yagna. The confluence of two rivers is a ‘prayag’, and in Allahabad three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. Hence, it is the king of ‘prayags’.

Source:TH