Name of Hyderabad City has been changed at least six times since its formation. The renaming of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya had triggered a major controversy and BJP Government was accused of playing the ‘renaming politics’ to attract people’s attention. Some BJP leaders even demanded renaming of Hyderabad to Bhagyanagar. This demand was widely condemned by other political parties and groups.
Here are some interesting facts about renaming of Hyderabad:
Syed Ali Asgar Bilgrami, the then Assistant Secretary to HEH The Nizam’s Government, in his book “Landmarks of Deccan” published in 1927, made a mention about the renaming of Hyderabad. He stated that the original name of the city was Bhagnagar and it was styled after Qutub Shahi King Muhammad Quli’s sweat heart Bhagmati who resided in Chichlam village, which is now called Shah Ali Banda.
After Bhagmati’s death, the city was denominated as Hyderabad. In 1597, almost seven years after its formation, the city was named as ‘Farkhunda Bunyad’ which became its chronogrammatic epithet.
“This name was changed to ‘Darul-Jihad Hyderabad’ after the sack of the city by the Emperor Aurangzeb in 1098 AH. The name was retained till the death of Aurangzeb.
The previous name ‘Farkhunda Bunyad’ was re-adopted by the omission of the world ‘Darul Jihad’ by Shah Alam.
Historians say that the city was again renamed as Hyderabad after the end of Mughal Rule. The Asaf Jahis not only retained the name, but their entire kingdom was called Hyderabad State. After the merger of Hyderabad State with the Indian Union in 1948, Hyderabad State’s identity was confined to ‘Hyderabad City’.
Hyderabad was sometimes referred to as Cyberabad and now it is being referred to Greater Hyderabad, but the people of this city feels proud in calling it ‘Hyderabad’ and themselves ‘Hyderabadis’.
Several States and cities in India have been renamed since independence. While the renaming or restoration of original names was sometimes based on popular demand by the locals, it was primarily used as a political tool to pursue communal or regional politics.