GR News Desk | Srinagar
In a major development of pushing its nationalistic agenda the local administration in Jammu and Kashmir, ruled by the BJP, on Sunday changed the name of the Jammu Chowk to “Bharat Mata Chowk”. The move is similar to that adopted by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who last year changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj.
The historic City Chowk, is known as the commercial hub in old Jammu, was on Sunday renamed after a resolution was passed by the general house of the BJP-led Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC).
People of the city awoke to surprise this morning with the news about the development wondering as to what necessitated the change as the famous heritage square of the city was in no way named after any Mughal emperor or any former J&K chief ministers. The new ruling clan in the Union Territory has gone on a streak of changing the nomenclature of awards and roads.
However, the renaming of the chowk got mixed reactions from the people with most of them welcoming the decision but urged the JMC to focus more on development and cleanliness rather than just changing the names.
“I had moved a resolution in the general house some four months ago demanding renaming of the City Chowk to Bharat Mata Chowk on the popular demand of the public,” senior BJP leader and Deputy Mayor of the JMC Purnima Sharma said.
She further added that the change of name was done after a resolution in this regard was adopted. “This place is historic and a witness to major decisions and protests in the past. Every year people are hoisting the tricolour on Republic Day and Independence Day in this chowk. There was a popular demand from the public to rename this chowk as Bharat Mata Chowk,” Sharma said.
Prior to this, the starting point of the circular road near Panjtirthi in the city was named as ‘Atal Chowk’ in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was renamed by the JMC as well.
The development comes after the BJP swept the JMC polls by winning 43 of the 75 wards in the urban local bodies elections were held in the erstwhile state in four phases from October 8 to 16 in 2018 after a gap of 13 years.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Jammu and Kashmir administration on January 25 had announced a change in nomenclature of police medals for gallantry and meritorious service, removing the word “Sher-e-Kashmir”, a reference to former chief minister and National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.