Shimla, October 22: A couple of days after reports claimed that the Himachal Pradesh government would be renaming Shimla as Shyamala, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur issued a clarification, claiming that no such proposal is under consideration.
"Let me make it clear that the government is not considering proposal to rename Shimla as Shyamala. We had received a suggestion to rename Shimla and it is our duty to hear all suggestions," Thakur said. Now, Himachal Pradesh Govt Takes Cue From Allahabad Turning Prayagraj.
The Himachal CM, while addressing a Dussehra event on Friday, had claimed that his administration would be seeking public opinion on whether the state capital should be renamed.
Thakur had further stated that the city in pre-colonial era was known by the name of Shyamala. "The British came later and renamed it," he said.
Notably, between 1864 to 1947 -- when India claimed freedom -- Shimla served as the summer capital of the British administration.
Apart from Thakur, his Cabinet colleague Vipin Parmar had also raked the issue, saying, "What is the harm if we restore the original name of Shyamala?"
The demand to rename Shimla has been raised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad over the past couple of decades. Former CM and Congress veteran Virbhadra Singh had rejected the appeal, claiming that tourism would be adversely affected as Shimla has turned into an internationally-known destination.
The BJP has recently drawn flak from the Opposition for renaming the iconic city of Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh, as "Prayagraj". UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath defended the move claiming that the decision would be opposed by only those who have "zero knowledge about the country's history".