Haryana's Trump village: Govt says name change not allowed but villagers insist on it
The villagers say the new name has given them 'recognition', a 'new identity', and hope for 'development'. Photograph: (AFP)
A village in Haryana, Marora in Mewat, renamed itself "Trump Village", reportedly to honour the friendship between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, The Indian Express reports. The village was renamed because another village within 30 kilomtres had the same name, and it was this second village that turned up on Google Map searches.
The renaming came at a function organised by Sulabh International on June 18. A new signboard was put up declaring "Welcome to Trump Village."
Perhaps appropriately given the nature of Trump's controversial administration, the signboard was removed because it was found that the rules for changing a village name had not been followed.
Residents--about 140 families, mostly farmers--say they want to retain the name, saying it gave them "recognition" a "new identity" and hope for "development". Indeed, now they have toilets.
One resident said no government official had visited the city before the name was changed, yet in 2016 had labelled it "Open-Defecation Free". But since that function on June 18, Sulabh initiated a project to build toilets, and it's taken hold. "Till about a month ago, we would go to the fields to relieve ourselves," one resident, a farmer named Mukesh Lumberdar, told The Indian Express.
For now, the Trump sign is in storage, and the "Trump Village" moniker remains just a nickname. But this incident has already attracted the attention of developers, and residents hope to get regular electricity too. Currently, they get eight hours a day.
In other words, this incident will hopefully help put Marora, or "Trump Village", on both the literal and figurative map.