Modi was ‘delighted’ when the BJP government's plea for a heritage city tag was accepted, so why Karnavati now?

Sarkhej Roza, an Islamic monument built in the 15th Century in Ahmedabad.
Sarkhej Roza, an Islamic monument built in the 15th Century in Ahmedabad. © Shutterstock - It is said to fuse Islamic stylistic influences from Persia with indigenous Hindu and Jain features to form a composite 'Indo-Saracenic' architectural style. 

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Asked whether Ahmedabad risked losing its World Heritage City status if the name was changed, Unesco’s chief of media services, George C. Papagiannis, told The Telegraph: “No, the only risk is that the proposed name change is not approved.”

About the process for any change, Papagiannis said: “The request for a modification to the name shall be received by the World Heritage Centre at least three months prior to the meeting of the committee. This request is reviewed by the relevant advisory body (ICOMOS for cultural properties and IUCN for natural properties) which formulate(s) a recommendation on the basis of which the committee takes a decision.”

Asked whether the political/ideological project driving the renaming would make any difference to the way Unesco views the application for the name change, the response was: an ICOMOS or IUCN review of any name-change proposal looks precisely at the fact that the change must be in line with the basis for the justification of the site’s Outstanding Universal Value.

Academic Ghanshyam Shah said that renaming Ahmedabad to Karnavati has been a longstanding Sangh-BJP project but it would no longer carry much resonance with the people.