Allahabad was officially renamed as 'Prayagraj' on October 16, 2018. The decision was announced by the Yogi Adityanath-led government, which formally re-christened the name of the holy city. Answering the opposition on the name change, the Uttar Pradesh CM said on Sunday:
"Log keh rahe hain kyun naam badal diya, naam se kya hota hai? Maine kaha tumhare maa-baap ne tumhara naam Ravan aur Duryodhan kyun nahi rakh diya? (People are asking as to why the name of the city was changed? What's in a name? I say why didn't your parents name you Ravan or Duryodhan?)"
Earlier in October, the decision to change the name of the city came into effect immediately after the announced by the UP Health Minister, Siddharth Nath Singh.
Singh had said, "This (renaming) was done on the insistence of the public and the saints of Allahabad. In a meeting regarding the Kumbh Mela two days ago, the chief minister had also insisted on the same. Another thing discussed today was that the renaming should be done before the Kumbh Mela, so it is very pleasing that the city will be known as Prayagraj from now on."
Reportedly, the city has always been 'Prayag'. Reinforcing the long history attached with the holy city, Singh also added:
"The city used to be known as Prayagraj since the beginning. Around 500 years ago, the name was changed. To those who are opposing the decision, how would you feel if the name your parents gave you was to be changed?"
The Minister also elaborated on the importance of the word - Prayagraj.
He said that 'Prayag' meant a point where the three rivers meet. Singh emphasized the importance of the city in the Hindu religion. He reiterated that the city was significantly named as 'Prayagraj' in the Hindu scriptures like the Rig Veda, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.