Follow us on

|

Modi stokes a controversy by referring to Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar

Print edition : Aug 04, 2022 T+T-

Modi stokes a controversy by referring to Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the concluding session of the BJP’s national executive committee meeting in Hyderabad on July 3.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the concluding session of the BJP’s national executive committee meeting in Hyderabad on July 3. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked a controversy when he referred to the Telangana capital not as Hyderabad, but as Bhagyanagar on July 3. The name Bhagyanagar has its genesis in the city’s Hindu cultural heritage and is based on the myth of queen Bhagmati, a courtesan who fell in love with Quli Qutub Shah, the ruler of Hyderabad, in the 16th century. According to folklore, the city was named Bhagyanagar after Bhagmati, but once she got married to the ruler, she converted to Islam and took the name Hyder Mahal.

Addressing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegates on the final day of the saffron party’s two-day national executive committee meeting in the Telangana capital, Modi, according to the former Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, stated it was in Bhagyanagar that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel laid the foundation of ‘Ek Bharat’ (United India) by integrating the region into the Indian Union. Prasad disclosed this to mediapersons on the sidelines of the party’s national executive committee meeting. Said Prasad: “Prime Minister Modi said that Hyderabad is Bhagyanagar, which is significant for all of us. Sardar Patel laid the foundation of a unified India in Hyderabad and now it’s BJP’s responsibility to carry it further.”

It was the second time that the Prime Minister was referring to Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar. The first was in February when he was in Shamshabad to inaugurate the 216-feet-tall Statue of Equality of Ramanujacharya, the 11th-century Bhakti saint.

Modi’s speech sparked a tizzy of voices from BJP leaders, all calling for the renaming of Hyderabad. Tweeted B.L. Santhosh, national general secretary (organisation), BJP, and Karnataka-in charge: “Here in Bhagyanagar, Sardar Patel gave us Ek Bharat. Today, the entire national BJP team has gathered under the leadership of JP Nadda to make our country ‘Shreshstha Bharat’.”

On July 3, Tejasvi Surya, the firebrand MP from Bengaluru South who is in Hyderabad to campaign ahead of the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, posted a tweet which began with: “Dear young people of Bhagyanagar...”

In the past, too, several leaders from the BJP had raised the controversial issue, demanding the renaming of Hyderabad. While campaigning during the last (GHMC) elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had raised the topic, saying that Hyderabad would be renamed as Bhagyanagar if the saffron party came to power in the State.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal was quoted in the media as saying that the decision to change the city’s name would be taken by the Chief Minister in consultation with his Cabinet Ministers if the BJP came to power.

On July 1, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, while on a visit to the Bhagyalakshmi temple which is located next to the iconic Charminar, had replied in the affirmative when asked if the name of the city would be changed to Bhagyanagar.

Das’ utterances were not taken too kindly to by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). K.T. Rama Rao, the State’s Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, tweeted: “Why don’t you change Ahmedabad’s name to Adanibad first?” And then, in a reference to Raghubar Das in the same tweet, asked: “Who is this Jhumla Jeevi by the way?”

The TRS and the Telangana Chief Minister have been having a running battle with both Modi and the BJP for many months now. The BJP, which is looking to wrest the southern State from the TRS, has been targeting the father-son duo, calling out the regional party for its dynastic moorings. At the recent national executive meet, sources disclosed that the BJP’s top brass had emphasised on focussing and making its ‘dynasty-mukt’ (dynasty free) plank the cornerstone of its political strategy.