A village of 2,000-odd people in Rajasthan that for long wanted to change its name has finally got its wish. The residents of Hindu-dominated Miyaan ka Bara, which translates to a settlement of Muslims, had complained that the name was interfering with the marriage prospects of their children.
The government has now allowed the village, located in the border district of Barmer, to be named Mahesh Nagar - Mahesh being one of the names of Lord Shiva.
The locals claim the name of the village originally was Mahesh Ro Bado, the abode of Mahesh or Shiva. The sarpanch of the village even dug out old records to support the claim during their application to the government.
"Till India got Independence, it was Mahesh Ro Bado but during settlement, the name was changed to Miyan Ka Bara," former sarpanch Hanumant Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The villagers contend that they have been petitioning for a new name for over six decades. But approval for a change of name -- which comes from the Centre in response to proposals from state governments -- is not easy, especially when there has been a change in demographic profile of the place.
Barmer being a border district, Miyaan ka Bara is reflective of a time when the village had a more heterogeneous mix of religion.
Ahead of the assembly elections, which will take place at the end of this year, the Vasundhara Raje government, which is seeking another term in power, has helped a few other villages get their wish list.
Jalore district's Narpada village has become Narpura and Jhunjhunu district's Ismailpur village will now be known as Pichanwa Khurd. Notifications to change the names were issued by the state revenue department on Tuesday.