LUCKNOW: After renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj, Faizabad as Ayodhya and Mughalsarai as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, the next stop of the UP government may be the city of the Taj—Agra.
If sources are to be believed, Agra may be renamed as ‘Agravan’ as it is claimed that the place was earlier known by that name. The state government has taken a step in this direction by seeking advice on the issue from historians of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar University (BAU) in Agra.
According to sources, the authorities in Lucknow sent a letter to Agra DM Ravi Kumar with the direction to ask the university’s history department to find out if Agra was known by some other name earlier. The DM subsequently marked the letter to the university administration. Sources in the history department of the university confirmed that such a letter was received by them.
The university, claimed sources, has begun its research on the subject by exploring the historical roots of the name Agra and how it came into being. University experts have also been asked to look into the circumstances and time when its name was changed to Agra.
It may be recalled that a demand had been made in the past to name Agra as ‘Agravan’ after Maharaja Agrasen, much respected and revered by the Agarwal community which dominates the city.
The late Jagan Prasad Garg, a five-time MLA from Agra North assembly seat dominated by Agarwals, had in the past forwarded a letter to the UP government, seeking to rename Agra as Agravan.
“We have merely been asked for historical facts relating to the name of Agra in the past and we are just complying with the same. There is nothing more than that,” said Prof Sugam Anand, head of the department of history in Dr BR Ambedkar University. He, however, avoided any speculation about a change in the name of Agra.
Garg had also claimed that Agra has no meaning as such. He claimed that earlier the area had a lot of dense forest ('van') cover. It was also dominated by the Agarwal community. “So the earlier name was a combo of both—Agravan,” the BJP lawmaker had said.
Other cities in line for a name change include Muzaffarnagar as there has been a demand from local BJP MLA Sangeet Som to rename it Laxmi Nagar.