Rani Kamlapati

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    In News 

    • The name of Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station has been changed to Rani Kamlapati station. 
      • The renamed and redeveloped railway station was inaugurated on November 15, the birth anniversary of the iconic 19th-century tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.

    Objectives behind the move 

    • According to the state government, the renaming is to honour the memory and sacrifices made by a queen of the Gond community.

    About Gond community

    • The Gond community comprises the largest tribal group of India with more than 1.2 crore population. 
    • Gond is a Scheduled Tribe (ST) from central and south-central India. The Gond is spread across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Odisha.
    • Linguistically, the Gonds belong to the Gondi–Manda subgroup of the South Central branch of the Dravidian language family.

    Who was Rani Kamlapati?

    • Rani Kamlapati was the widow of Nizam Shah, whose Gond dynasty ruled the then Ginnorgarh, 55 km from Bhopal, in the 18th century. 
    • It is said that she avenged her husband’s death by killing Alam Shah, Nizam Shah’s nephew. 
      • Alam Shah had poisoned his uncle.
    • She built the seven-storey Kamlapati Palace that overlooks Upper and Lower Lakes and is now an ASI-protected monument.
      • Rani Kamlapati Palace is a secular architecture of the 18th century built of Lakhauri bricks, cusped arches over crumpled pillars. 
    • Kamlapati was the “last Hindu queen of Bhopal”, who did great work in the area of water management and set up parks and temples.

    How are railway station names changed?

    • It is a common misconception that Indian Railways can change the name of its stations. That is not the case. 
    • While Indian Railways may own the station, it does not get involved in the business of naming it. 
    • This is left to the discretion of the state government concerned.
      • Change of station names is entirely a state subject even though Railways belong to the Union government.
    • The state governments send the request to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the nodal ministry for these matters, which then accords its approval, keeping the Ministry of Railways in the loop.

    Methods to Display languages, spellings on the signboard 

    • This aspect is governed by what is known as the Indian Railway Works Manual.
      • It is a 260-odd-page document that codifies everything related to civil engineering construction works. 
    • Traditionally, station names were written only in Hindi and English.
    • Over time, it was instructed that a third language, which is the local language, should be included.
    • Railways should obtain approval from the state government concerned on the spelling of the names (in all three languages) before putting them on its signboards.
    • The station names shall be exhibited in the following order: Regional Language, Hindi and English, except for Tamil Nadu where the use of Hindi will be restricted to important stations and pilgrim centres as determined by the Commercial Department. 

    Source: IE