Shimla or Shyamala: Why is India So Hell Bent on Digging Up the Past?

Politics

Shimla or Shyamala: Why is India So Hell Bent on Digging Up the Past?

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

t is one of those moments when you feel everything you knew about the world is wrong, your political acuity stretched with it. There is a good chance that the street you visit today might not be the same the next time you come around to it. It could be a scene from a sci-fi film – except it is lived reality.

The absurd and overactive naming squads of India are for some reason working around the clock, to turn it back. Not interested in pushing the needle forward, mind you, but back to some imagined world where names and labels are evidence of a utopia. Prayagraj, therefore, must be a better place to live in compared to Allahabad and Shyamala will surely outdo Shimla in so many ways that I personally don’t mind sleeping in one and waking up in the other.

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