Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma Monday said any move to rename Shimla as Shyamala will be “absurd and totally unacceptable” .
He said Shimla was the summer capital during the colonial era and has witnessed many historic events during the freedom struggle and hence, changing the name the city would be unjustified.
“It is absurd and totally unacceptable,” he said, reacting to a campaign by some right-wing Hindu groups to change the name of the city to Shyamala.
The former Union minister said Shimla has a very rich legacy of the freedom struggle as it was the summer capital of the colonial empire and was established by the British.
“There is no historical evidence to justify any change in its name,” he said.
Himachal BJP leader and state Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar has said the state government might consider a proposal to rechristen Shimla to Shyamala if the people wanted such a move.
A campaign has been launched by some right-wing Hindu groups demanding that the capital of Himachal Pradesh be renamed.
Sharma, who hails from Shimla, said the town is also a heritage zone where building and monuments of the British period are being restored as part of a national heritage project.
“During the freedom struggle, many important meetings took place in the city that include the Simla Summit and the Simla Accord after the liberation of Bangladesh.
“It is a city identified with history and the freedom struggle. It has a rich legacy of the freedom struggle,” he said.
The Congress leader said history could neither be rewritten nor be misrepresented but, “It has to be recognised”.
“It is unfortunate that this government is in the habit of rewriting history.
“Instead of showing anything of its own achievements and accomplishments, renaming places has become a favourite pass time of this government,” he said