Turning Gurgaon into ‘Gurugram’ has evoked a similar changeover for old imperial capital Shimla that is sought to be renamed as Shyamla by a saffron outfit.
Manoj Kumar, an Vishwa Hindu Parishad organizing secretary put forth his demand before Governor Acharya Devrat who has ticked him off by directing him to approach the central and state government authorities for the name change desired.
Not just a name change for Shimla, which earlier was just called ‘Simla’, before its spelling was changed in the early 1980s, but Manoj also wants that Dalhousie, named after a former Governor General of British India, be renamed as Netaji Subhash Chander Bose because the freedom fighter spent a few months at the hill station.
He has also sought a change in name for Peterhoff, the historical building where Nathuram Godse trial of Mahatma Gandhi assassination was held, to Valmiki Sadan. Before it was turned into a temporary court in the aftermath of the country independence, Peterhoff served as a residence for Viceroys and later one for Governors. Today it is a state hotel property.
Chroniclers record that the name Simla was derived from the word Shyamla, which was a village where early British settlers came to live in the hills after displacing the Gurkha warriors in the early part of the 19th Century.
Sanjay Chauhan, Shimla Mayor dismissed the very idea saying, “it cannot be done, for doing so would be to deny the historical significance of the place.”