10, Feb 2015
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations held in Aligarh on Monday , proposed renaming Aligarh to Harigarh, triggering howls of protests from both local residents and historians, who said there was no merit in the demand.
“This (Harigarh) is Aligarh’s oldest and real name,“ said Krishna Gupta, a VHP member . The old name lost currency following a series of conquests faced by India, added VHP’s Aligarh president Dev Suman Goyal.“We have recognized this as the real name of Aligarh because it is mentioned in Hindu mythology .“
“Aligarh, like many Indian cities, has been known by different names in the past…It was known as Kohl or Koil as mentioned in Ibn Abatuta’s travelogues. The city was named Aligarh after its takeover by Mughal governor Najaf Ali Khan,“ said Nadeem Rezavi, historian from Aligarh Muslim University . He added that the demand by VHP has no historical basis.