Kalaburgi: A large number of people, including several from the local Muslim community, staged a protest and courted arrest here on Saturday against the renaming of Gulbarga as Kalaburgi.
A section of Muslims have called the renaming of the district as Kalaburgi “demeaning,” and have accused the government of taking an “arbitrary, unilateral and capricious” decision in a public interest litigation filed in the high court, demanding quashing of the order.
Several activists of the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI), meanwhile, tried to barge into the Mini Vidhan Soudha here to register their protest and were taken into custody by the police present in large number around it.
Despite the widespread unrest, president of the Gulbarga District Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Mahipal Reddy Munnur welcomed the state government’s decision to rename Gulbarga as Kalaburgi. Contradicting claims that the district was named Gulbarga by the Bahamani rulers in 1347, he argued that the British had changed its name from Kalaburgi to Gulbarga after laying the new railway line from Bombay to Madras.
“Gulbarga may mean a garden of flowers in Persian, but it is wrongly argued that the Bahamani kings gave it this name,” he contended. Well-known writer, Swamyrao Kulbarga too welcomed the decision to revert to the old name for the district, calling the protests unjustified.
“The area is referred to as “kallam burgi”, “kala burge” in many ancient inscriptions found in the region. Even the Janapada songs and literature refer to it as Kalaburgi. It’s unfortunate that the issue has now taken a communal turn,” he regretted....