Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met with seers of different akharas who urged him to change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj ahead of the 2019 Ardh Kumbh mela.

“We have requested the chief minister to change Allahabad’s name to Prayagraj and ensure that 14 fake babas did not participate in the Ardh kumbh,” Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) head Mahant Narendra Giri said. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has assured the seers that he will look into their demand of changing the name. Other than this demand, some seers like Nirvani Ani Akhara, Panchdashnaam Juna Akhara and Digambar Ani Akhara also requested the CM to provide them with basic amenities during the fair.

The 14 ‘fake babas’ is a list that’s been created by ABAP which is the apex body of Hindu sadhus. The list includes names such as Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Rampal, Asaram and his son Narayan Sai.The body also requested a crackdown on ‘rootless cult leaders’ by bringing in a legislation.

Commenting on fraud self-styled godmen, Mahant Dharamdas of Nirvani Ani Akhara said: “It is absolutely incorrect to call them babas. They are not babas by any definition. They belong to grihast (family) category, and should focus on managing their grihasti (family and household).”

He also kept a demand of obtaining land for the fair to the Yogi government.“We also urged the state government to ensure that there is adequate drinking water (supply) in the Ardh Kumbh mela area, and at the same time, there is sufficient water in the Ganga river during the Kumbh Mela.”

Allahabad’s actual name was Prayag and it existed even during the Vedic period. Its mentioned in the Vedas as the location where Brahma attended a ritual sacrifice. Excavations from the city have revealed Northern Black Polished Ware dating to 600–700 BCE. The named was changed to Allahabad by Mughal rulers. It is only appropriate that the city be renamed as Prayag or Prayagraj to retain the lost glory.


Vinayak Jain

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