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13 Nov, 2018

The Hindu attacks Hindu ruling party’s assault on India’s Muslim heritage

Bangkok – One of India’s leading intellectual newspapers, The Hindu, has blasted what is shaping up as a plan by India’s Hindu fundamentalists under the ruling Modi administration to wipe the country’s Muslim heritage off the map.

In an editorial headlined, “The BJP’s rechristening spree goes against India’s plural ethos,” published on 10 November, the paper commented on the recent renaming of Allahabad to Prayagraj, Faizabad to Ayodhya and calls for further renaming of cities such as Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

The said, “Such moves reflect a jaundiced view of history and the Sangh Parivar’s disregard for India’s plural identity. Stripping places of names that evoke a mixed cultural heritage and replacing them with names to project a Sangh iconography or Hindu revivalism sends out a deeply prejudiced message — that one community has a greater place in society.”

The paper added, “It reinforces the signs that the BJP is ploughing a very polarised terrain ahead of general elections. And in the larger culture war, this renaming frenzy leaves no doubt that India’s rich legacy of assimilation and its constitutional ethos are under assault.”

Click on the image below to read the full editorial.

Click on the image to read the full editorial

The move is set to create major headache for the Indian travel & tourism industry which will have to rewrite all its brochures, and continue rewriting them as long as the renaming spree continues. Although the move violates fundamental principles of building inclusive societies, the industry is not expected to do anything to challenge or debate the actions.

It has also attracted extensive global publicity that has cast both India and the Hindu fundamentalists in a negative light.