Agra or Agravan, the debate continues
Activists are up in arms against the move to change the name of Agra to Agravan or some other fancy nomenclature, supporters of the Yogi Adityanath government have come up with, to correct historical distortions.
A week ago, a section of right wing intellectuals floated the idea to change the city's name, which they felt was too medieval and Mughal.
According to sources, the state government has sought information from local historians about Agra's antiquity as well as the probable names that would reflect the city's ethos.
The Agra University top management soon got into action and collated the opinion of academics and sent that to the state government.
The move, however, has been questioned by the tourism industry leaders as well as local activists who want civic conditions in the city to be addressed first to make Agra worthy of glorious Mughal monuments that attract millions of tourists round the year.
The name change could satisfy the ruling party's vote base, but would not help solve the problems that deserve urgent attention, say social activists.
"The city is known world over as Agra, home to Taj Mahal and several other architectural marvels. Any name change would create confusion and avoidable hassles.
"That apart, historically speaking, Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodi in 1504. References to its antiquity are rare. Some people want it to be named Agravan. How will that help or change perceptions," asked Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.
On social media, supporters of the 'name change game' are in minority. Most Facebook users from Agra favour status quo. They want serious efforts to change Agra's profile and project it as a heritage city. IANS