Thursday, August 12, 2004

Fudging up historical names in the Walled City

It is a historic case of abuse. Thanks to the apathy of both the government, and more importantly the people, original names of some streets in the Walled City have been bastardised over time to make more “convenient” names. Even official signboards have helped corrupt the names of the streets, say senior citizens from this part of the city

A victim of this blasphemy has been Sangakon Ka Rasta, located near Mahaveer Park. A JMC sign put up three years ago records it as Sango Ka Rasta but it was once named after the eminent Sangakon family. A Jain temple, built by the family, still exists on the same street. “The new name holds no relevance for someone like me,” said Gyan Chand Khinduka, a senior citizen.

Another prey is Govind Rajion Ka Rasta, near Chandpole Gate, which is today known as Govind Raoji Ka Rasta. For most it does not make a difference but to veterans of this street, like Hariballabh Koolwal, it robs them of their identity. “I was born here and all my life I have known it as Govind Rajion Ka Rasta,” says Koolwal. “It is not just my memories, it is our collective past that is being defaced,” he added.

Koolwal informed that the street was originally named after Govind Rajion clan from the Khandelwal Vaishya community, who had been hired by the royal family to handle its affairs. “Members from this community handled most of the royal family’s tasks and street were named after them in honour,” he said. “And since I belong to the same community I am attached to it,” he added.

The list does not end here. Uniara Raoji Ka Rasta, named in honour of a thakur from the Uniara district near Tonk, is now known as Uniaron Ka Rasta. “Today everyone wants a short cut. They are not bothered about these long names,” said Puranmal Sindhi, a fruit seller.

Senior citizens say that most of these streets had signboards with their original names but they were damaged over time. “When the boards were replaced, they did not even bother to ask people like us the correct name,” lamented Hariballabh Koolwal, who claimed that there are no government signboards on his street. “In another few years there will be no one alive to give the right information. The young are least bothered about it,” he added.


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