BJP launches name-changing spree in IOK » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, November 19 (KMS): Despite criticism by the opposition over renaming roads and government departments in occupied Kashmir, the BJP has insisted to go ahead with its plan saying that Jammu and Kashmir does not belong to the ‘Abdullahs and Muftis’.

Kashmir’s water supply department will now be called the Jal Shakti department. The Chenani-Nashri Tunnel has been named after Hindutva ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee. The Shere-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium will also get a new name; Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium.

These developments, after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided it into two union territories, have led to fears that the Bharatiya Janata Party has finally launched its name-changing spree to Kashmir. The nine-km-long tunnel was renamed on October 24 – almost two months after J&K was stripped of its special status. It is located in the lower Himalayan mountain range, between Udhampur and Ramban districts in Jammu. Mookerjee was the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He was a vehement opponent of Article 370.

According to a report, the Indian authorities have cleared decks to rechristen Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, located in heart of Srinagar, as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium. They are renaming all facilities and landmarks including two hospitals, the cricket stadium, an indoor stadium, a park and a convocation centre, named after National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who was known among his supporters as Sher-e-Kashmir.

Now, Srinagar-based historian Ashiq Hussain said, the purpose of this politically-motivated campaign is to polarise and give a sense of victory to the majority population across India. The National Conference has hit out at New Delhi, saying the measure validates people’s worries. The Congress, too, slammed the Indian government. The party’s IOK president, G.A. Mir, said the government of India cannot change the history of J&K by renaming places.

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