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NEW DELHI: The newly elected BJP MLA from Deoband, Brijesh Singh, has said he will ensure that the new government in the state changes the name of the town to Deovrind, The Hindu reported on Friday.

Mr Singh said Deoband should be known for its historical association with Mahabharata and not the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband.

Talking to The Hindu on the phone from Lucknow, Mr Singh said the proposal to change the name of the town to restore its historical glory would be the first proposal he would move in the state assembly after formation of the government.

Several Hindutva groups like the Bajrang Dal had, in the past, raised the issue of renaming Deoband to Deovrind, but this is the first time it is being proposed by an MLA.

“Deoband is quite sacred for Hindus because of its historical association with Mahabharata. Pandavas visited Deoband when they were in exile and living incognito. Their visit to the town also led to the foundation of the famous temple here,” Mr Singh said. “The historical association of Deoband with the Mahabharata needs to be highlighted and reinforced in public memory. It would be unfair if Deoband is known and talked about only as a place where Darul Uloom Deoband is located,” added the BJP MLA.

Mr Singh insisted that several ancient structures were found in villages such as Rankhandi, Jakhwala and Jarauda Panda, pointing towards their association with the Mahabharata.

“This is not a new proposal but in the past also many people raised this. Everyone knows how centuries-old structures were found in villages such as Rankhandi, Jakhwala and Jarauda Panda,” added Mr Singh, who is the first BJP candidate to have won from the constituency in the past 21 years.

Deoband is one of the five assembly segments of Saharanpur, which the BJP swept, defying conventional wisdom as Muslims make up 30 per cent of Deoband’s electorate.

Mr Singh said he had “nothing against Darul Uloom Deoband which is like those old religious Sanskrit schools. In its current form the town stands to symbolise only the Islamic seminary whereas historically Deovrind represented much more than that. I only want this town to get that identity back”.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2017


Comments (103) Closed



Kashmira Mar 18, 2017 08:43am

The word "Deoband" comes from Sanskrit. "Deo" comes from "Dev" which loosely means "Angel" and "band" comes from "ban" which comes from "van" or forest. Thus Deoband is Forest of Angels

Muneer Mar 18, 2017 08:49am

Muslims who voted for BJP should be extremely happy and proud on this statement of MPA elect of BJP.

ANT Mar 18, 2017 08:55am

72% of Deoband electorate is Muslim.

Imam lucknow Mar 18, 2017 08:53am

Go ahead. What is there in the name. We want development.

Pragmatic approach Mar 18, 2017 08:58am

After incident of razing Babry Mosque,the claims of Hindutva are emerging gradually they are changing the names of roads,recently road name attributed to Aurangzeb Delhi was changed, and BJP high ups continue planning to transform India into a Hindu Nation,keeping all minorities under suppression or as aliens. The best way and option remains for Indian Muslims is to fight legally,and if BJP officially process for name change,just go to court,to stop it. Besides politically Indian Muslims may support other political parties instead BJP.

iqbal a. malik Mar 18, 2017 08:56am

India needs to be divided again this time it should be divided in a way that all Hindus will live in one part and all Muslims in the other. If Sikh wants to live with Hindus or they want their own part it is between Hindus and Sikhs.

bhujang patil Mar 18, 2017 09:01am

Won't happen. Too hard to spell.
But joke apart, Deoband is now known for its Islamic school of thoughts. People are aware of that fact and will ignore what the MLA is proposing.

DW Mar 18, 2017 09:02am

Thank you Jinnah for giving us Pakistan

Mohammed Mar 18, 2017 09:02am

BJP Cannot think beyond Hinduism.

Ayza Mar 18, 2017 09:00am

Truly feel sorry for all the Deoband Muslims, who felt they were safe in India and now must be regretting not immigrating to Pakistan where there's no such degradation of minority religions or historical "revisionism."

So blessed we live in Pakistan, a true secular democracy!

Dr.Arshad Mar 18, 2017 09:08am

@DW ......Thank you. Majority in India have already realized it.

Syed Mar 18, 2017 09:15am

Yes, please, by all means do it.

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 09:16am

Welcome step. Indian civilisation, culture and history must be protected.

nadir baloach Mar 18, 2017 09:18am

WHO CARES ...In Pakistan we also change hundreds of places name that formally belong to Hindu name & also for you guys information Deoband name also belong to some Hindu religious figure so who cares ...its Indian govt rights to change name or not why should we bother

Ammar Mar 18, 2017 09:17am

Name doesn't matter...I hope Indian Muslims don't fall into this trap of hatred and unnecessary confrontation....governments have a right to change names of towns....Pakistan has done the same many times.

azEEm Khan - UP Inida Mar 18, 2017 09:28am

@Desi Dimag Islam is also part of 1000 years of Indian history and culture. It should be preserved.

helloWorld Mar 18, 2017 09:29am

Nothing wrong in naming a place to it's orginal name. Few names changes to it's original name are

Bombay = Mumbai, Madras = Chennai, no British took it in wrong sense so why bring in religion card now?

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 09:29am

We have to stop ISIS spread its wing in India at any cost.

Anil Agrawal Mar 18, 2017 09:35am

I would appreciate Dawn publishing PM Modi's victory speech, wherein he stated very clearly, that though they have won the elections through majority, but will run the states based on the consensus factoring in concerns of all the citizens.

MMM Mar 18, 2017 09:32am

@Desi Dimag History or Myth?

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Mar 18, 2017 09:39am

@DW Love you so, so much Pakistan. So many lives were lost for this sacred Indus Valley Land. From the Holy Sindh and Oasis of Baluchistan to the Majestic glaciers in the Hindu Kush/Himalayan ranges. What a blessing thank you Almighty, with out Pakistan we are nothing, nothing!

Always love to India, but no to religious extremist of any faith. We are strong together and weak without each others. We are Blood Brothers 4 Life!

R.Kannan Mar 18, 2017 09:36am

The Deoband constituency has 65% Muslim population. The BJP could not have won unless a significant number of Muslims voted for them. The 30% figure appears dubious. What name you give to a place is not important. Renamimg Indian metros has not made any difference to the quality of life.

Thought Mar 18, 2017 09:43am

No one cares , all know these kind of stunts are just to stay in power in Hindos majority country

aamir Mar 18, 2017 09:45am

@Desi Dimag Aryans intruded India before mughals yet there is no grudge for white skin brahamans acceptance yet darulm uloom deoband muslims seminary is being portrayed as of outsiders and foreigners. dravidians, or low cast dalits are real aboriginal natives of land. so either is of Indian civilization or Indus we need to acknowledge.

Happy Mar 18, 2017 09:45am

Whats the problem in restoring the original name?

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 09:45am

@azEEm Khan - UP Inida Islam is also part of 1000 years of Indian history and culture. It should be preserved.

Islam is successfully growing in India, think about minorities in the Islamic nation.

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 09:44am

@MMM History or Myth?

How can it be a Myth when you are also a part of it?

Indian Mar 18, 2017 09:45am

I always oppose changing name of cities, unless the native people wants it.

Hind Mar 18, 2017 09:51am

@iqbal a. malik oh really. No thanks. Indians have learned their lesson with pakistan experiment.

Ahmad zubair Mar 18, 2017 09:52am

It seems an alarming situation for keeping the identity of Indian Muslims

RAJA CHILL Mar 18, 2017 09:54am

Have not pakistan changed old names of cities after partition.why so much of hue and cry on this.

Sky Mar 18, 2017 09:53am

@Ayza doors must be opened now for any willing to come in.

Random Indian Mar 18, 2017 09:54am

Reversion to the old name, as in case of Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Faisalabad and Beijing. Please move on to discussing real issues.

ga Mar 18, 2017 10:00am

When scoundrels have nothing new to offer to improve peoples lives, they come up with these trivial issues that gullible masses swallow hook, line and sinker.

RAJA CHILL Mar 18, 2017 10:13am

Hindu Bagh→Muslim Bagh Ajodhan pur →Pakpattan Rowdayana →Swat Salwan Kot→Sialkot Preshapur → Peshawar To pakistan friends hope you know the cities already by new names..

Indian Mar 18, 2017 10:16am

As a Hindu I think it's not a right thing to do instead of digging the history . The MLA should concentrate on making the present better. Bad decision, I hope it doesn't get approved

Asfand Mar 18, 2017 10:17am

Shining India. (Sarcasm).

Indian Mar 18, 2017 10:18am

As a Hindu I think it's not a right thing to do instead of digging the history . The MLA should concentrate on making the present better. Bad decision, I hope it doesn't get approved

nzf Mar 18, 2017 10:21am

Skeptical about Digital India in making but confirm about Hindu India in making Under BJP

PRO Mar 18, 2017 10:23am

@Hind India or Hindus did NOT give Pakistan/Indian Muslims the freedom they desired. Muslims fought and got it by their 1.5 million sacrifices, and FROM THE BRITISH! You also got independence from British along with Musalmans. Thanks for refelection!

Oliver SCHIENDLER Mar 18, 2017 10:24am

@iqbal a. malik if sikh goes with muslims, you know what happens to them ... Pakistan is always a good example.

D.K. PAMNANI Mar 18, 2017 10:22am

It is a welcome step.

xyz -indian Mar 18, 2017 10:26am

@iqbal a. malik :- Really ,

D.K. PAMNANI Mar 18, 2017 10:32am

@Oliver SCHIENDLER

Forget it. It will never happen.

rich Mar 18, 2017 10:33am

good move, but wont go thru

deoband will be deoband deorind will be deorind

what is imp is will bjp develop it?

bombay became mumbay, calcutta kolkatta, trivandrum tirivntipuram and so on

name make no difference

SAMIR RAHMAN (INDIA) Mar 18, 2017 10:29am

@DW Jinnahs grandson is a billionaire in India, judging by the smile on his face while you see him walk across VIP areas in the airport, looked very happy. (has his own private jet, and airline GoAir) Just saying

The_Truth Mar 18, 2017 10:39am

Thanks jinnah

rahul kumar Mar 18, 2017 10:35am

@DW Oh not again pls give our two nationals back safely who were got missing from karanchi airport how could anyone got abducted from airport bizarre.

Afzal Nadir Mar 18, 2017 10:46am

BJP always causes harm and agony to its minorities generally and Muslims specially.

Arif Waswani Mar 18, 2017 10:45am

Nothing official so far, why spend on this kind of issues.

Ismail Mar 18, 2017 10:52am

In Pakistan religious minded political parties can't think of getting more than 10 seats while in India BJP is ruling, we are more secular than secular India

Sunil Varma Mar 18, 2017 10:56am

@azEEm Khan - UP Inida

" Islam is also part of 1000 years of Indian history and culture. It should be preserved."

Dear Brother Azeem....Islam , Christianity and Buddhism have thrived in India for hundreds of years . Their culture has now well intermingled with the culture of this land and therefore it will be preserved by itself whether any one wants it or not.

Mimi sur Mar 18, 2017 10:53am

Yes, Indian names should be introduced.

SAEED MASOOD Mar 18, 2017 10:58am

Cheap attitude...will not achieve anything except disorder and hate.

Qamar Mar 18, 2017 11:01am

Basically BJP is a fundamentalists' party. However, name doesn't matter. Give development to the town.

Aftab Hashmi Mar 18, 2017 11:03am

I know we have issues in our country too but time and again, I want to salute our own Quaid and his comrades for giving us this land -- Pakistan. Thank you Jinnah!

fawad Mar 18, 2017 11:10am

AMERKOT was renamed UMERKOT, but no one said anything in Pakistan. From Hindu sounding name it was changed, why should anyone bother for this?

lost cause Mar 18, 2017 11:12am

The change in name if happens won't effect status of Darul Uloom then why worry. It is only a proposal. Such change have already happened in Pakistan long ago. Many places have been renamed even in India. In Kashmir Shankrachari hill has become Kohe Marn, Anantnag town has become Islamabad.

Shahryar shirazi Mar 18, 2017 11:10am

@RAJA CHILL yes, but you cannot change the name referenced in this article. Just try it

Anirban Mar 18, 2017 11:11am

We want real development from BJP, not some political gimmick.

Shoaib proud Indian kashmiri Mar 18, 2017 11:16am

It is nothing wrong in part of bjp mla of Deobond in making such statement.We are proud of Indian constitution and will continue our efforts deraling terror sympathisers and determined as always never ever tilt or be part with them.

bryan Mar 18, 2017 11:29am

@azEEm Khan - UP Inida I agree, Mughal India, Islamic India is as much a part of India as is everything else. Since India is a land which is so ancient and accepts everyone from every faith it should always allow all kind of beliefs. I say this as a Christian that India has accepted and people of various beliefs have thrived- what a diverse nation- Parsis, Jews, Jains, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and there is a space for atheists too! . What a colorful nation. No one is declared by the State as Un whatever religion. Differences exists- for example we are Syrian Orthodox, there are Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jacobites, Pentecosts, Born again all sects have difference between them too. In India all differences can thrive. Keep it that way. I had been to some parts of UP years ago- that region needs development badly. Now that BJP is in power- please give them water, power, education, healthcare, transport and jobs.

IsaBhai Surat wala Mar 18, 2017 11:31am

That doesn't make any difference to enybody the issue is development and unemployment........

YogiJi Mar 18, 2017 12:08pm

So what Musims had changed that name into Deoband now the MLA wants change it so what is big deel in that.

AMmar Mar 18, 2017 12:20pm

Isn't it India's national matter rather than global? If we can Change the name from Lilapur to Faisalabaf and Rabwah to Chenab then can too. Peace!

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 12:19pm

Muslims are naturally tolerant so they would not oppose the proposal and regard the sentiment of Hindus.

Raj Mar 18, 2017 12:30pm

@Ayza Even now they can migrate to Pakistan if they feel they will be better there. No one will stop them. Good Luck.

RAJA CHILL Mar 18, 2017 12:32pm

@SHAHRYAR SHIRAZI blind aggression is one of the reasons of current state of affairs in the country and the drowing levels of respect from others.

kaly Mar 18, 2017 12:41pm

@IMTIAZ ALI KHAN - Dear brother, I am always finding such good statement from you and you always talks about unity and thats really great.

I wish we all think like you, you are an asset to this mankind.

Respect across the border....

Aqal Mar 18, 2017 12:51pm

Deoband is the Hindi version and the abbreviation of the original Sanskrit word Deovrind, now the minister wants to rename it back to its original word or the full form which is Deovrind.

ash Mar 18, 2017 01:01pm

Welcome to our democracy where diversity is crushed!!!

Pakpower Mar 18, 2017 01:02pm

Shining hindutva India.

Derived Mar 18, 2017 12:58pm

Hindi is derived from Sanskrit hence the Hindi word Deoband is derived from the Sanskrit word Deovrind, Deovrind is the original and the pure form of the name of the city.

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 01:09pm

@Pakpower Shining hindutva India.

Thanks.

Khawar salee Aslam Mar 18, 2017 01:22pm

I hope majority of Indians and Deoband MPs don't support the move to change names associated with Muslims. After election victory BJP should work for developing sense of inclusion and not exclusion of Muslims from the Indian mainstream.

AKKS Mar 18, 2017 01:25pm

@DW , and you are free of all conflicts, riots and violence!

Jahng Mar 18, 2017 01:31pm

Changing names wont change facts.

aslam shaikh Mar 18, 2017 01:35pm

Incredible Hindustan

aslam shaikh Mar 18, 2017 01:36pm

5000 years ago a yogi passed through this town. Let's name the town after him instead.

aslam shaikh Mar 18, 2017 01:37pm

I wonder how the Muslim votes got converted to BJP votes. Incredible Hindustan

Maqsood Mar 18, 2017 01:54pm

What ever they they cannot change the identity of Deoband.

Atticus from india Mar 18, 2017 02:07pm

He is being silly. There's no point in changing names. An ordinary citizen doesn't care whether it's called Deoband or anything else. They need to work on development of the place else they will be booted out.

Oommen Mar 18, 2017 02:25pm

No plan to work for people ? People will kick you out...next time.

Kamal SINGH Mar 18, 2017 02:29pm

@Muneer deoband is in India?

NISHAN SAHOO Mar 18, 2017 02:58pm

@IMTIAZ ALI KHAN feels so good to hear that brother. Hope majority of pakistani awaam feels that way.

Jamil Mar 18, 2017 03:37pm

@Desi Dimag Then why hurting the sentiments of Indian Muslims!

Muhamad Mar 18, 2017 03:54pm

@Desi Dimag and u plan to stop Isis by changing the name . Wow!

Desi Dimag Mar 18, 2017 06:59pm

Congrats to people of UP for having Yogi Adityanath as their new CM.

M. Siddique Mar 18, 2017 07:14pm

It is their country they can name whatever they want. Let us also start calling India as Bharat,

M. Siddique Mar 18, 2017 07:20pm

@Mohammed, Next they will revert to calling their country Bharat. More power to them. Three cheers for Indian secularism.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 18, 2017 07:28pm

What a silly joke?

Fazal Ahmed Mar 18, 2017 08:08pm

@Anil Agrawal Speech is something else.But what is there in heart is totally different.

Moin Mar 18, 2017 08:21pm

@Maqsood one identity indian nobody want to change

Kiran Mar 19, 2017 04:41am

@iqbal a. malik India was already divided once, so why dont you make what you wish happen within the current setting and boundary? Are you guys willing to take the rest of brethren from here, seeing your deep concern for them living in India?

Punjabi Indian Mar 20, 2017 12:41am

@Pragmatic approach ....My dear brother why do you fail to mention for the information of Dawn readers that Auranzeb Road in Delhi was renamed as Dr Abdul Kalam Road . Can any Muslim have objection to that or take the matter to court ?

Punjabi Indian Mar 20, 2017 12:47am

@iqbal a. malik ...It is impossible to divide this great nation again on religious grounds. It was the British and the over ambitious Nehru in his unholy hurry to become Prime Minister gave away the most beautiful and fertile land of Punjab and Sindh in part ion . Never again.

Punjabi Indian Mar 20, 2017 12:55am

@aamir ....you are so much wrong bro! Dalits have nothing to do the Dravidins . Dalits are the lower caste Hindus who are in every society in India including south India . The people of south India especially Taminadu are considered as the Dravidian race who originally inhabited India till the Aryans came from Asia Minor and Europe and pushed them to down south.

jjjjj Mar 20, 2017 09:58am

Today they are changing name.Tomorrow they will change our religion."India is moving forward"

Nasir askar Mar 20, 2017 03:07pm

The theory of two nations stands proved

Black Indian Mar 20, 2017 05:46pm

@PRO Probably you need a history book. Please do not comment unless you know about it. Please dig correct history books, find online resources.

Indian Mar 20, 2017 09:24pm

@iqbal a. malik Best Comment! As an Indian, I support it!

Sonali Mar 21, 2017 01:38am

@iqbal a. malik The division happened in 1947. There wont be an 'again'. What needs to be done is finish the remaining agenda of 1947. Complete exchange of population on religious grounds.

Raja parekh Mar 21, 2017 12:24pm

What is wrong in changing names? Both are Sanskrit words. Also, nothing wrong in rectifying injustice done to Hindus during the suppression regimes.