As relations between Pakistan and India touch rock bottom after occupied Kashmir’s autonomy – guaranteed in the Indian constitution – was revoked in August, a village in the Indian state of Bihar called ‘Pakistan’ wants a name change at the earliest.
According to Gulf News, annoyed villagers have petitioned government officials to change the name of their village soon, saying they feel ashamed to be addressed as “Pakistanis”.
The village located in the Srinagar block of Purnia district, more than 300 kilometres east of the state’s capital city, does not have any Muslim inhabitants nor any other religious presence and is home to around 1,200 people.
The village was named in memory of Muslims who migrated in 1947.
“We are caught in an awkward situation. None want to marry their daughters with youths from our village. We too feel ashamed of being called Pakistanis while we have nothing to do with Pakistan,” a local resident Anup Lal Tuddu said.
“The name is also disturbing our relation with our neighbours. We don’t want to be identified as a resident of Pakistan,” said another villager, Ganga Tuddu.
Authorities say they had shared the sentiments of the villagers and would try their best to change the name of this village.
“The local villagers have handed us a petition calling for changing the name of their village. We are forwarding the petition to senior officials for necessary actions,” local official Nandan Kumar said.
Purnia district magistrate Rahul Kumar said he had not received the petition so far.
“Though I have not received the petition but would act in accordance with the established procedures to get the name changed,” the district magistrate said.