‘Sita Road’ in Pakistan renamed Rehmani Nagar post-partition

'Sita Road' in Pakistan renamed Rehmani Nagar post-partition

Strong winds blow off the iron sheet exposing the original name

A closer look at the picture makes it evident that initially ‘Sita Road’ was engraved on the stone structure, which was later covered by a metal sheet on which Rehmani Nagar was inscribed in Urdu

A Twitter user took to the microblogging site to inform that a strong storm in the Sindh province in Pakistan blew away an iron sheet from the signage inscribed with Rehmani Nagar on it, only to exposes the original name of the road, which was named after Goddess Sita prior to partition.

Sharing the picture of the broken iron sheet placed on top of a stone structure displaying the name of the area in Pakistan’s Sindh province, the social media user wrote: “The small station was established as “Sita Road” in Dadu district but was renamed after partition by some religious element as Rehmani Nagar. But strong storm yesterday removed the iron sheet inscribed with Rehmani Nagar & exposed the original name.

A closer look at the picture makes it evident that initially ‘Sita Road’ was engraved on the stone structure, which was later covered by a metal sheet on which Rehmani Nagar was inscribed in Urdu. Yesterday, reportedly the strong winds blowing in the area ripped off a part of the iron sheet placed on the stone structure and the original name of the place emerged.

Sita Road in Pakistan is, however, not the only road that was renamed in the country post-partition to reclaim the ‘Pakistani identity’. Over the years, Pakistan has renamed many such roads, streets, traditional places which were once named after Hindus and Sikhs. For example, Ram Bagh in Karachi became Aram Bagh, Krishan Nagar in Lahore was renamed Islampura, Kasur’s Wan Radha Ram was changed to Habibabad, while Bhai Pheru was renamed Phool Nagar.

Moreover, in central Lahore, the Jain Mandir Chowk was named after a Hindu temple that stood there. The temple was demolished in 1992 to “avenge” the destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, and the place was renamed Babri Masjid Chowk.

There are several more such examples. In pre-Partition Lahore, Laxmi Chowk used to host one of the city’s largest Diwali celebrations. This too was renamed Maulana Zafar Ali Khan Chowk, after a Urdu journalist, who, through his newspaper, waged a battle against the Ahmadiyya community.

In fact, in the year 2017, Pakistan had proposed legislation to punish anyone who calls a place by a different name than that notified by the government, even if unintentionally.

Basically, it is due to this Islamic extremism that the plight of the religious minorities in Pakistan, especially of minority Hindus have been deteriorating in the country. Over the years, there are several reports of Hindu girls being abducted and being forced to convert to Islam. Further, there are several instances of Hindu Temples being attacked and Hindu homes being bulldozed to the ground with the tacit support of the government.

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