To name is to claim. Humans try to immortalize themselves not just by their deeds but by lending their names to monuments, mausoleum , mountains and moments. Their conquests , when and whom they married , the birth of their first child. Anything that they regard as auspicious. Or not.
The infamous Chengiz Khan ( a title that was later bestowed upon him ) was born to celebrate the victory of his father on his arch rival Temujin whom he was also named after. Ashaval was conquered by Chalukya ruler Karna of Anhilwara ( Patan) and named Karnavati. Then Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 laid the foundation of a new walled city close to Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad. Today the twin cities are indiscernible. One blending into the other. The name of Ahmed Shah immortalized until someone else lays a claim upon it again.
Innumerable cities across the world have changed names as frequently as they changed hands , culture and faith. New York was New Amsterdam for two years when the Dutch had colonized the Manhattan island giving way to the English. Greek Byzantium became Constantinople then Istanbul. Since a century ago after the first world war there was a complete exchange of population between the two severed nation Greece and Turkey after being a continuous stretch of land for centuries.
The land which was intellectually nourished by the lycee even during the allegedly fundamental Ottomans exiled the Greeks from their own home by the decree of seemingly liberal Mustafa Kemal Attaturk. Today Turkey that was always ethnologically and theologically cosmopolitan has 98% Islamic population by systematic religious banishment of other faiths under the cloak of alleged nationalism by designs of a man who himself was born in Greece.
Hyderabad (the erstwhile Bhagyanagar) was the capital of the Qutub Shahi Dynasty who originally ruled from the Golconda fort in the vicinity of the city. The fortified citadel around the diamond mines was originally called Manakal. One of the first of its kind in the world that bequeathed rare gems to every European colonizer by their plundering was founded by the Kakatiyas of Warrangal.
The mud fort was strengthened with granite as it passed from Kakatiyas to Nayakas who wrested it from the Tughlaq control yielding it to Bahamani rulers from whom Qutub Shahi dynasty gained control. The legend of romance between Mohammed Quli and Bhagmati is well known. A village belle and young prince did what they were supposed to. Defying customs like the tumultuous spate of the river the Prince had once crossed to save and salvage his beloved’s flooded village. Much to the annoyance of the king who watched as his successor threw his life, traditions and caution to wind. Not surprisingly he married his paramour and went on the find a new city, naming it after her. Shifting the capital from Golconda fort to it. However with maturity comes prudence and with it the need to abide by traditions.
The prince was now the ruler with a sizeable Islamic population, clerics and nobles to satisfy. As any wife the queen was understanding. Thus Queen Bhagmati became Hydermahal and the city Bhagyanagar became Hyderabad.
Today when Yogi Adityanath, born Ajay Bisht, the honorable chief minister of Uttar Pradesh declares that Hyderabad would return to Bhagyanagar. How is he doing nothing different than Mohammed Quli. Playing to the popular sentiments. There is a term in legality greater happiness of the greater number that defines the moral quality of an action. This is the basis of democracy. Abhramanics follow it religiously. Hence you will scarcely find a secular Islamic majority nation, innumerable Christian countries and one Jewish one . They are unapologetic about it and no one even thinks of shaming them for it. The issue becomes debatable only when it is applied to the Hindus.
Ideally Bhagyanagar or Hyderabad should be called Manakal or Golconda. Since we are returning to our origins why even use a name given by Mohammed Quli and bear the legacy of it.
Researched and Compiled by Tanuka Banerjee