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Demand Grows To Rename Mumbai's Iconic Churchgate And Dadar Railway Stations

Written By Dinesh Mourya | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Demands have been made to change the names of Dadar and Churchgate stations in Mumbai

The trend of renaming of cities, districts & roads has not yet stopped. Recently, Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh renamed Mughal-era districts Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya. Not long before this, the BJP government in the state has changed the name of Mughal Sarai junction to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay junction. 

After Mughals, some British era names of railway stations are on the radar of some right-wing outfits. Sakal Kranti Marathaa morcha, which is known for their statewide Maratha reservation protests, has now demanded to rename Mumbai's Churchgate station as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale Terminus’.

Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha has also written a letter to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. In this letter, they have written in detail about the history of Shambhaji Maharaj and have also threatened the railway ministry that if they do not initiate the procedure to rename the Churchgate station by December 15, then Sakala Maratha Kranti Morcha will start an aggressive movement. Churchgate is an almost 150-year old station built by the then British government. 

Sambhaji was the son of great Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After the death of Shivaji, his son Sambhaji had ruled the Maratha kingdom & bravely fought many battles against Aurangzeb who then ruled the Mughal empire. He was killed by Mughals in the 16th century.

Sambhaji Raje is one of the idols of Maratha Kranti Morcha. For Maratha reservation, Sakal Maratha Kranti Morcha had organised more than 50 massive marches across the state & played a crucial role in getting a reservation for the community.   

Not only Churchgate but one more British era railway station is on the radar, this time of a Dalit organisation. Chandrashekhar Ravan-led Bheem army has demanded to rename Dadar station as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar terminus. On December 6 they also protested at Dadar station. 

Renaming of streets & stations is not new to Mumbai. In the 90s, the then Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government had renamed iconic Bombay to Mumbai. Victoria Terminus was also renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus. Name of the Sahar International Airport has also since been changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Recently, Elphinstone Road station's name was changed to Prabhadevi.

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