Saturday, April 9, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
An attempt to baptize Bhopal!
BHOJPAL is ruled out! I am all for BHOPAL and I have my reasons for it. Till today, I have not been convinced by anyone about the time-period in history about the existence of Raja Bhoj, his supposed sushasan (Good governance); his appearance (the gym-built disproportionate body, six-pack abs included as we see today in the statue that rests on the upper lake!) and the justifiable historical relevance, as in the case of Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pudducherri, of reverting to the original name.
I have been observing the ongoing debate of Bhopal vs. Bhojpal practically every day ever since the announcement regarding the same has been made. I chose to maintain a dignified silence over the entire issue except for making my feelings known to my friends in person and on the facebook till....I saw the status update of an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly on his facebook home page. Stunned, I sat!!
Following is the exact copy-paste (original spelling, punctuation, typographical errors and those of grammar included!) of the statement that I saw:
Frieds the name Bhopal has got no meaning in fact its a distorted verson of bhoo-pal. So if the BJP is trying to give some meaning to the name what is the harm in it...why such an hue and cry....people should take it in a sporting manner and in a stride....The name bhopal does not indicate any religion so the name bhojpal..so every body jai bhoj pal...
It, apparently, conveys the meaning that because Bhopal does not indicate any religion, so the name Bhojpal must be given and hence everyone must hail Bhojpal! What does it convey? From whatever little I can understand, I can easily infer that the renaming of my city, our city, is an attempt to give it a religion! I see it as an attempt to baptize my city at the sweet whims and fancies of a few. Is it an attempt to divide the various religions that exist peacefully, in full harmony with each other in my city? It is going to be a unique case in the entire World history where an attempt is being made to give a religion to a city. And the elected representative of the ruling party is blatantly accepting it on a social networking website! Interesting!! Doesn’t it sound of a communal touch?
I am a bona fide Hindu and I see no problems identifying myself with Bhopal but I cannot recognise myself with the proposed name. The entire exercise is an effort in futility and sans solid logic. There is no solid reason for the case. That some Raja Bhoj existed, is a fact. If we go by what the historians have to say, more than one king by the name Bhoj apparently existed in various periods of time. Which Raja Bhoj are we talking about? Is there a valid historical reference about Bhopal before the advent of Dost Mohammed Khan on the scene? Did a city, by any manuscript or scripture or any portion of validated history, by the name of Bhojpal ever exist? Is there evidence that, at any point of time, any of the erstwhile rulers of Bhopal state changed the name of the city from Bhojpal to Bhopal? Should the name of a city need to have a religious meaning? And finally, merely by changing the name of the city, the Government can replicate the good governance model of Raja Bhoj? If I can be convinced about the questions, I have risen with fitting logical replies; I will accept the change to Bhojpal – even though it stands grammatically incorrect! Bhojpalya – it should be!!