Rama Krishna Sangem
BJP general secretary Sunil Deodhar’s statement on June 20, Tuesday that his party, if comes to power in Telangana in the coming elections will change Hyderabad’s name to Bhagyanagar. As Deodhar is in charge of BJP for Telangana, his words do matter. And, it may find its way to BJP election manifesto too.
But, this will not work in favour of BJP. In fact, this idea will work against BJP and people of Telangana will never ever like it.
We are used to BJP calling Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar for several years, right even from its Jana Sangh days. But, never it was a serious thought. People take it in lighter vein. Hyderabad is a historic name and increasingly linked to ever growing Brand Hyderabad.
Today, Hyderabad is a global city. Once it was a 6th largest city in India – after Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. But, now it is 4th largest metropolis – after Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, both in terms of size and global investments. Of course, Chennai is still bigger than Hyderabad, but very soon, the latter will surpass the former.
Why BJP not changed Ahmedabad?
If BJP is keen on changing Muslim name – of Hyderabad to a Hindu name Bhagyanagar, why it hasn’t changed the name of Ahmedabad, though the party was in power for close to three decades in Gujarat? Because, people of Gujarat like Ahmedabad to remain. They are business savvy – who know better business interests are different from religious sentiments.
Ahmedabad is a major business city in the world. So is Hyderabad. All global investors and world leaders from the US to China and Japan know it. We all know, Chennai has suffered a lot for changing its name from Madras. But, it is linked to Tamil pride. In case of Hyderabad, there is no Telugu pride that seeks Bhagyanagar.
Of course, BJP changed Allahabad name to Prayagraj in UP, but people of Gujarat or Telangana are not those of UP to be swayed by such religious moves.
BJP’s excessive dependence on communal card or religious sentiment may not work in Telangana, just as didn’t in Karnataka. In recent Karnataka assembly elections, even PM Modi’s efforts to invoke Bajarangbali have’t fetched BJP votes and seats. Same danger awaits BJP in Telangana too. This single poll promise is enough for voters to reject BJP in Telangana.
Sunil Deodhar unwittingly handed over a weapon to BRS and Congress! If local BJP leaders want to save their poll prospects, they should firmly oppose Deodhar’s proposal.