Netizens have reacted vehemently to the Indian government’s decision to change the name of great Muslim poet Akbar Allahabadi, Indian media reported on Wednesday.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Higher Education Services Commission (UPHESC), an autonomous authority under the state government, the poet has been renamed Akbar Prayagraj.
The extremist government of Yogi Adityanath renamed the Allahabad district Prayagraj in 2018.
On the UPHESC’s official website, in the “About Allahabad” section, the name of Urdu poet Syed Akbar Hussain, also known as Akbar Allahabadi, has been changed to Akbar Prayagraj.
Referring to poets and writers who are from the city, the website says, “Besides Hindi literature, Persian and Urdu literature are also studied in the city. Akbar Prayagraj is a noted modern Urdu poet…”
On the UPHESC website, the state government has changed the names of all such writers or poets who used “Allahabadi” as a suffix with “Prayagraj.”
In response to questions from The Print, UP Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Dinesh Sharma said he was unaware of the changes and that UPHESC was a separate entity.
He told the publication, “I’ll have to check with the officials at UPHESC regarding the name change, it’s an autonomous entity.”
In February 1921, the famed poet died.