Gurgaon, the corporate hub of Haryana on the outskirts of Delhi, will now be known as Gurugram. Not just Gurgaon, the government has also decided to change the name of Mewat district to Nuh.
The decision was taken by the state government of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). The government claimed that the people of the area had been making this demand.
A spokesman said the decision to change the name was taken on the basis of representations received on several forums that it would be appropriate to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram.
Legend has it that Gurgaon was derived from the name of guru Dronacharya, a master of archery in Mahabharata, a Sanskrit epic poem.
The village was given as a gurudakshina (gift) to him by his students — the Pandavas — and came to be known as Gurugram, which over time is said to have got distorted to Gurgaon.
“Haryana is a historic land of the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a centre of learning,” the spokesman said.
“It had been known as Gurgaon since the times of guru Dronacharya. Gurgaon was a great centre of education where the princes used to be provided education. Therefore, since long, the people of the area had been demanding that Gurgaon be renamed Gurugram,” he said.
The Congress party reaction to the decision was mixed.
While former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda welcomed it, his party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who also hails from Haryana, criticised the decision.
Hooda said the change of name was appropriate and the proposal had come during his time also.
Surjewala said Gurgaon had an international branding and this was an exercise in superficiality.
The Haryana government also decided to rename Mewat district as Nuh.
Mewat is a geographical and cultural unit and not a town, the spokesman said. It is spread beyond Haryana in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, he added.
The people of the area and elected representatives had been demanding that its name be changed to Nuh, he said.
Hooda said Mewat’s name should have been retained because it features prominently in the freedom struggle.