Listen: Narendra Modi, India, Prime Minister discussed on Marketplace
"Five thirty five back now to all things considered. From NPR news. This is all things considered. I'm Ari Shapiro. And I'm Audie Cornish. The world's biggest democracy. India is holding elections. Prime minister Narendra Modi is running for a second term this week. We're bringing you a series of stories about social issues that matter in this election is a member of a Hindu nationalist party. That's changing the map of India NPR's Lorne fair reports on how the names of Indian cities and landmarks are being changed. And what that says about how Indians view their history. Millions of Hindus splashed into the Ganges river this winter as part of the world's biggest Hindu gathering the Coon Mela. Which for centuries took place in a city with a Muslim name a law. Hobart Indian is a majority Hindu country that was ruled by Muslim empire the moguls for more than three hundred years after that the British the name Aloha came from a mogul emperor in the sixteenth century last year officials from prime minister, Narendra Modi's, Hindu, nationalist, party change, the name of this city to progress name of an earlier Hindu settlement here, it might seem like a merely bureaucratic hassle. High court is keeping the name LA LA. So is the local university at the head post office postmaster from not yet Deb's says he will change the name on the sign outside along with a lot of rubber stamps inside. All the names Albie stamps ought to be it will take time. The issue here though is not just the name of one seat in the past five years, Hindu, nationalist politicians. Have renamed towns streets airports, and one of the country's biggest train stations a generation ago. Bombay was renamed Mumbai Madras became Chen nine, but this is a new wave of name changes. And it's not about a racing colonial titles. It's about a racing Muslim ones. About one in six Indians is Muslim they're the biggest faith group after Hindus in law. Many Muslims trace their lineage back centuries. If Bisky other children headed digits. His some. Businessman. You're speaking more quietly and more quietly. Yeah. Ashraf made is a Muslim IT business owner who spoke furtively when I met him outside his neighborhood mosque this is a country where Hindu-Muslim riots have a ruptured many times has this situation for Muslims changed. No nothing yet. You said, yes. You can almost. This is your nervous. Yeah. Cutting situation on policies. He worries that a racing his hometown's Muslim name is a step toward a racing. His history. His identity disenfranchising India's Muslim citizens Moody's government has also proposed new Indian law that grants citizenship to anyone facing religious persecution in neighboring countries, except if they're Muslim. Done. We cannot let Muslim invaders from centuries ago. Define us today says the man behind many of these name changes Yogi Aditya, NAT the chief minister of India's biggest state who taught process, he's a Hindu priest and a member of prime minister Modi's ruling party, he's frequently railed against Muslims for allegedly committing what he calls love jihad marrying Hindu girls historian hero Chaturvedi was at his office at the university of LA LA when he first heard about the name change, but it was the university, and I was to us. He's a Hindu too. But he's totally against the name change look around the city. He says. Global village. And absolutely intact. View main things Griffey. This is the land of those Muslim emperors and also of the Buddha, and of Gandhi diversity is India's strength Chaturvedi says but in entire lifetime after casting off colonial rule India's now reclaiming its Hindu nece or Hindutva. The push has been led by Modi's Bhartiya Janata Party or BJP, and it's not only renaming cities. It's also rewriting school textbooks.."