A member of Jamalpur panchayat in Navsari district, has proposed changing the name of the village to Rampur, on the grounds that it has “only three Muslim houses and no mosque”.
The proposal came from Pratyush Patel during a gram sabha meeting on Friday, which was headed by sarpanch Sajan Bharwad, also a Gau Raksha Dal leader. Patel also proposed that there should be a complete ban on sale of non-vegetarian food and liquor in the village.
With some of the members opposing the proposal, the issue will be taken up again in the panchayat board meeting, scheduled for June end.
Patel, who hails from Saurashtra, said that he proposed to change the name from Jamalpur to Rampur because there were only three Muslim houses and no mosque in the village.
He reasoned that not just names of cities like Bombay, but that of many areas in Delhi and Kashmir have been changed.
“Due to the mixed response of other panchayat members, we have finally decided to take up this issue in the upcoming board meeting,” said Patel.
Sarpanch Bharwad, who has been involved in several incidents of waylaying transporters carrying cattle, echoed Patel.
“We will take up the issue in the upcoming panchayat meeting. After getting consent of a majority of the members, we will take this issue to district collector.”
Devu Mehta, also a panchayat member and vice-president of Navsari chamber of commerce, said the change of the village’s name was not acceptable to them.
“The village is dominated by Desai, Koli and Kanbi Patels and we oppose the proposal. We don’t have any problem with the existing name, which has been there since long. A similar proposal was made by a then panchayat member 20 years ago, but it was rejected by a majority of the residents,” said Mehta, an architect by profession.
Jamalpur village, located on the outskirts of Navsari town, has a population of around 7,000 with a majority of people belonging to Desai (Anavil Brahmin) community.