Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Human Rights Forum has urged the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to direct the Andhra Pradesh Government and the Congress party to desist from changing the name of Cuddapah district to YSR district.

In a letter to the duo on Monday, the HRF said the decision of the Government to change the name of Cuddapah district had caused much disquiet. “Cuddapah is a name well-known to the Telugu people since over a thousand years. The name is contained in inscriptions, scriptures and lakhs of documents. The name is evocative of a history, a culture, politics, personalities, a people's way of life, land, water, language, literature and more. There is also the belief among people that Cuddapah got its name since it is the “gadapa” (threshold) for pilgrims visiting Sri Venkateswara Swamy in Tirumala. Cuddapah was the first district to be constituted in the Rayalaseema region.

It was only later that the districts of Anantapur, Kurnool and Chittoor were formed,” it stated.

Given this repute, it was improper to suddenly change the name of the district. Though late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was a popular political leader and chief minister who died in the most unfortunate circumstances, it must also not be forgotten that he and his family had the factionist label attached to them.

“Let us remember that though national leaders like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi fell to their adversaries' bullets and bombs, their name was given to institutions, schemes and roads but not to a geographical entity, the HRF said.

It also pointed out that though India is known the world over as “the land of Gandhi”, it was never thought by anyone, and rightly so, to name our country after him.

This was because if one began to do this, there would not be any area left with a permanent name. Just think of how much inconvenience and confusion such a trend would create for the people, among other things, in matters of administration.

It was wrong to impose the whims and fancies of some on everyone under the guise of paying respect to leaders, the HRF said and fervently appealed for such undesirable tendencies to be put and end to and Cuddapah's name retained.