BJP government considering proposal to rename Shimla: Report

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 21, 2018, 09.56 PM(IST)

File photo of Shimla. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The debate has left people divided with some favouring the name change and others opposing it saying that Shimla is a historical city and if one changes its name, then it will lose its character. 

Days after Uttar Pradesh government changed Allahabad's name to Pryagraj, the ruling BJP government in Himachal Pradesh is now reportedly considering a proposal to rename Shimla as Shymala, a move that can stir another controversy in the country.

According to a report by PTI, some right-wing Hindu groups have launched a campaign demanding the name to be changed to Shyamla to which the state health minister has reportedly responded saying, "If the people want Shimla to be rechristened as Shyamala, the proposal can be considered."

"Many cities in different parts of the country used to have historic names but they were changed. So, there would not be any harm in reverting to those names. If the people want Shimla to be rechristened as Shyamala, the proposal can be considered," state health minister Vipin Singh Parmar was quoted as saying by PTI.

Notably, social media has been abuzz with discussions on the topic for the last few days.

The debate has left people divided with some favouring the name change and others opposing it saying that Shimla is a historical city and if one changes its name then it will lose its character. 

Senior Himachal Pradesh Congress leader Harbhajan Singh Bhajji while opposing the proposal said, "What's wrong with the name Shimla? Will the renaming ensure development? The state government should focus on ensuring that the state progresses instead of indulging in such frivolous antics," PTI reported.

According to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary Aman Puri, the popular holiday retreat was originally called Shyamala but as the Britishers found it tough to pronounce, they renamed it Simla which later became Shimla.

Also known as the queen of hills, Shimla was declared the summer capital of British India in 1864. It remained that way till India got independence in 1947.

British officer Captain Charles Pratt Kennedy played a pivotal role in transforming Shimla as he built the first house here in 1822 aptly calling it-- Kennedy House. 

(With inputs from PTI)