‘Renaming Of Lakshmi Chowk Won’t Erase Its Historical Legacy’
The famous Lakshmi Chowk in Lahore, known for its celebrated food outlets, has been renamed Maulana Zafar Ali Khan Chowk for some time. The government has tried to officialise the change with the installation of a board stating the place’s name as Maulana Zafar Ali Chowk.
The move is seemingly an attempt to distance the place from its historical significance. The area was known as Lakshmi Chowk because it had a sculpture of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
The two most famous places in #Lahore are named after females i.e Laxmi and Anarkali – and now this is a pathetic attempt to distort the history and culture of Laxmi chowk – a sign board has been installed renaming it Molana Zafar Ali Khan Chowk. Laxmi should remain Laxmi pic.twitter.com/MSqyzJ77Gj
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) October 14, 2019
The move has been opposed by people, with one social media user stating that the place’s legacy could not be erased, and new names could not be put in people’s mouths.
They can try as much they wont. They wont be able to erase the legacy. Its upto us the people to own our culture and legacy. They cant put such names in peoples mouth. We will continue to call these places by their actual names.
— Ahsan Riaz (@AhsanRiaz15) October 14, 2019
Another user opined that the names of places with historical significance should not be changed and we should not try to make roads, squares and cities ‘Muslim’ by changing their names.
تاریخی اہمیت کے نام نہیں تبدیل ہونے چاہیے. لکشمی چوک بڑا پیارا نام ہے. چوکوں، روڈوں اور شہروں کو مسلمان نہ بنائیں خود مسلمان بنیں اپنے آپ کو تبدیل کریں.
— Saleem (@005_saleem) October 14, 2019
People also expressed the fact that such changes won’t have any effect as people would keep calling a place by the name it had through the ages.
Like people will stop calling it laxmi chowk. Dharampura till date is dharmapura, temple road is temple road no matter what they try #morons
— Urban Paindu (@saaadmalikk) October 14, 2019
Another user deemed this move an attempt to restart the process of Islamisation that General Zia had started.
Came as a surprise. The name of famous Lakshmi Chowk has been changed to Maulana Zafar Ali Khan Chowk. Has the process of #Islamisation that was ahem Gen Zia again started. @pid_gov @guldaar @SyedMAbubakar @rafay_alam #heritage #Lahore @GOPunjabPK pic.twitter.com/BFo26vM1L7
— Emanuel Sarfraz (@EmanuelSarfraz) October 13, 2019
Columnist Yasir Pirzada said that the place’s name should remain Lakshmi Chowk as that was the essence of Lahore.
Agreed it should be Lakshmi Chowk, that's what makes Lahore Lahore https://t.co/5WFpRkUbCB
— Yasir Pirzada (@YasirPirzada) October 14, 2019