Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Renaming Commission


Renaming Commission

Dr T H Chowdary*


“Lordships  Js K M Joseph and B V Nagaratna dismissed the petition of Sri Ashwini Upadhyay seeking to set up a Renaming Commission for restoration of original names of historical, cultural and religious places that were changed by foreigners”.  (Indian Express 28/2/23)


2. The Bench reiterated the oft pompously stated view that “Hinduism is a way of life”.  Actually Hinduism is not only a way of life; it is also a view of all life on planet earth.  It is unlike the Abrahamic religions  - Judaism, Christianity and Islam ( and also the other Abrahamic, Marxist political theology) whose Gods are jealous, intolerant and mutually hateful inciting and instructing their followers through their prophets to convert the whole world  to the faith handed down by their prophets.  No Hindu God or Hindu saint, or swami or guru has directed his believers to convert others to the only true God like himself or herself. Hindus don't set up missions to spread their view of life and creation and proselytize and convert Christians, Muslims and  Jews to Hinduism.  At the most, they welcome back to Hinduism, those who had been  “converted” to the intolerant Abrahamic religions and now realize the folly and so desire to come back to the way and view of life of their ancestors and their  living Hindu relatives and friends .


3. Coming to Sri Aswini Upadhyay’s petition to the Supreme Court,  seeking its directive to the Union government to set up a “ Renaming Commission”, let us recall and face facts . Countries which gained independence and freedom from imperial colonial foreign rule have, in  assertion of nationalism and freedom from conquerors rule did discard the imperialist given names and restored/adopted their national names.  Burma became Myanmar; Gold Coast became Ghana;


Rhodesia became Zimbabwe; Ceylon became Sri Lanka; Madagascar became Malagasy.  South west Africa became Angola and recently Turkey became Turkiye!  Tanganyika became Tanzania, Cambodia became Kampuchea…. Should India be an exception and for what reason? Our Constitution refers to our country as India that is Bharat ( Art #  1 ). Imperial Britain never referred to our country as Bharat.  Arabs, Afghans, Turks and Mongols  invaded India. Some like Muhammad of Ghazni and the Iranian Nadir Shah invaded our country, looted  our treasures, desecrated and destroyed temples and went away. Some like Md. Ghori, Ahmed Shah Abdali and Babur invaded, conquered  settled and ruled over parts of our country, desecrated and destroyed temples and converted some of the defeated and conquered people . Like the Dutch and British Christian conquerors of South Africa and Rhodesia ( now Zimbabwe), the foreign Islamic invaders settled in the conquered territories of India; some of them married the natives ( like European settlers married South African natives) and produced native Muslims.


4. That the Muslim invader- settler- rulers were not motivated purely by gain of  treasures and rule over Indian territory but also by the resolve to deal death-blows to idol worship and destruction of Hindu /  Buddhist /  Jain places of worship, is boldly stated opinion of scholars like Dr  B.R Ambedkar; historians Will Durant and Arnold Toynbee. Here are their decisive opinions/ verdicts on the Islamic conquest  of India.


Will Durant:

"The Mohamedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.  It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within" (Source: Story of Civilization ).

Arnold Toynbee  :

Aurangazeb’s purpose in building these mosques ( Kashi and Mathura) was the same  intentionally offensive political purpose that moved the Russians to build  their  Cathedral in the city center at Warsaw. I must say that Aurangazeb was a veritable genius for picking out provocative  sites.  Aurangzeb and Phillip –II  of Spain are a pair.  They are incarnations  of the gloomy fanatical vein in Christian, Muslim and Jewish family of religions………Perhaps  the Poles  were really  kinder in destroying the Russians’ self discrediting monuments in Warsaw than you (Indians) have been   in sparing Aurangzeb’s  mosques. (Source: Azad Memorial Lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai -1963) 




Dr B R Ambedkar:

·         Muslims’ invasions were not undertaken merely out of lust for loot or conquest- there is no doubt that striking  a blow at the idolatry and polytheism of Hinduism and establishing Islam in India was also one of the aims.

·         The Muslim invaders were all united by one common objective and that was to destroy the Hindu faith. Slavery was the  fate of those  Hindus captured in the  holy war .

·         Islam  is a closed corporation and the  distinction  that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real , very positive and very alienating  distinction .

·         The resolution passed by the  Working Committee of the Congress on the   Moplha atrocities in 1921 shows  how careful the Congress was not to hurt the feelings of the   Musalmans.


5. As part of their iconoclastic imperial and Islamic supremacy Muslim rulers in India replaced historic and traditional names of cities, towns, and villages by Islamic names. This went on across the centuries; the name changes continued in the Nizam’s Hyderabad territories till the middle of the 20th  century  -  the last  prominent ones are Mahaboobnagar (Palamuru); Nizamabad (Induru); Mahabubabad ( Manukota) ; Karimnagar (Enamalagandla)  and so on.


6.  It is not that after independence and freedom from British rule that we have not restored former names. Chennai, Belagavi, Varanasi, Mumbai , Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi Kozhikode, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Prayaga Raj are some of the restored names; replacing the foreign rulers - given names.


7. The example of South Africa after the native majority rule replaced the colonial- conqueror- settler rule is worth following. Nelson Mandela the father figure of native South Africans established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring about true repentance and regret among the settler whites, erstwhile colonizer- rulers with their  racist rule over  native South Africans . Peru in South America followed this example to bring about genuine reconciliation and fraternity between the conqueror -settler- ruler Spaniards and the native “Indians”.  Now, Australia is recognizing the guilt of the White European Christian conqueror ruling race and  is therefore restoring the aboriginals’ rights and human dignity.


8. It is not improper to recall that the Muslims of India under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League asserted that they are a separate nation defined by their religion Islam; they voted (1946) and rioted  to force division of India and create the Islamic state of Pakistan,  where the pre-1947  non-Muslim (Hindu , Sikh )  population is reduced  from 18% to under 2% and here in India the proportion of Muslim population has increased from 9.8% in 1951 to nearly double that by now.


9. The stridency with which the Muslim parties, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) , All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslameen (AIMIM),  All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF),  the now banned Peoples Front of India (PFI ) etc.  are asserting the separate identity  of Muslims and are demanding and getting Muslim majority districts carved out of Hindu majority composite districts (Malappuram in Kerala; Mewat in Haryana;  Malerkotla in Punjab) disturbs and frightens Hindus and makes them wonder whether by 2047, Bharat will be ruled by Muslim parties, as Muslim zealots are planning for .


10. In the light of  Islamism becoming strident in India as in the 1940s, it is not unnatural for nationalist Hindus getting alarmed and demand the righting of historical wrongs. The minimum and first step for bringing reconciliation (if ever it will be theologically admissible) is to restore former names to villages, towns, cities and regions through the suggested  Renaming Commission” and follow it up by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the hope that such a Commission will enable the  aggrieved people Hindus of India  to forgive  and forget the humongous atrocities committed by the  invader, settler-ruler hordes and  their  converted  collaborators on the native Hindus and  their  civilizational and  cultural assets.   


11. The “Renaming Commission” may also study the work of  India’s  National Integration Council set up in 1961 and lying ineffective and dormant since several years.


12. The judges of the highest court, the Supreme Court  of India  may be supreme but not infallible. Not withstanding their opinion, government committed to Bharat and its integrity must resolutely take steps to restore Bhartiya names to its cities, towns, villages and its lakes, mountains, rivers, forests, and institutions. (1,420 words)