DO Not change the name of the city Ahmedabad

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Respected Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Nitin Patel and other elected representatives of the legislative assembly of the state of Gujarat.

This Petition is created to assert an opinion against the statement of Mr. Patel of 7th November 2018 that the name of Ahmedabad city be renamed as Karnavati. That the government is willing to change the name if it gets past the legal hurdles and receives required support.

It is well known that the city of Ahmedabad was founded by the King Ahmed Shah in 1411. Earlier to that the settlement in and around the area was known as Karnavati (after the name of King Karnadev.) Earlier to that it was known as Ashawal (after the name of Bhil(tribe) leader Asha). Therefore it is not disputed that the settlement may have had names prior to the current one-Ahmedabad. What is objected is the attempt to erase the name of a Muslim Ruler from the name of the City and reidentify it after a Hindu Ruler.

There are three reasons why the name of Ahmedabad should be left untouched and not be made Karnavati.

1. As the elected representatives of citizens of India (and residents of Gujarat), there are far more pressing issues requiring your immediate attention and action. The rebranding exercise serves no real economic or social purpose. It also sets very wrong examples of governance. It is imperative for the government to set the vision of the future of the city and the state and not take it 600 years back!

2. As per the Constitution, India is a Secular and Democratic Republic. To efface the Islamic influence and memory from Indian history and to rebrand it under Hindu names is an illegal and immoral exercise of dangerous consequences. India is a beautiful confluence of many religions and cultures. To strip the country of its religious and cultural variety and heterogeneity is against the constitutional morality. There are examples of Indian cities being renamed from their colonial names to erase the colonial memory (which too may not have served the purpose) but erasing memory of Islamic rule from the History of Country is a blatant violation to the sensibility and morality of the constitution of India.

3. There is no real data to show that in fact majority of people of the city of Ahmedabad want the name of the city changed to Karnavati. We positively want it to be called Ahmedabad. The name of the City holds important tangible and intangible heritage that its residents are proud of. The recent recognition of World Heritage City is also specifically granted to the old fortified area of the city built by none other than the King Ahmed Shah and his successor Mohammed Begda. It is also stated that the name of the city is intimately attached to the identity of its residents. To forcefully strip them of an identity that they are proud of and cherish is an atrocious act that we condemn. 

It is therefore requested that the idea of renaming Ahmedabad be dropped immediately.

I thank you for your time

Yours Truly

Resident of Ahmedabad