The work of changing the names of cities, neighborhoods and street intersections has been done not only in India but in all countries. The latest example is from Russia. Lenin Street in the Russian city of Tarusa has been renamed Kaluzhaskaya Street. Kaluzhaskaya is the name of the area where this road exists.
The city council of this ancient city, located 140 km from the capital city of Moscow, last month decided to remove the names of communist leaders from all roads. His decision has now become a subject of much controversy and debate in Russia.
Communist rule in Russia is nearing the end of 30 years. But this country has not been able to get rid of its Soviet past till date. There are many people in the country who still associate themselves with that past. He and many others do not agree with the idea of changing the name or demolishing the memorial. They say that changing names or demolishing statues is actually an attempt to snatch her history and pride from Russia.
But the City Council of Tarusa has decided to change the names of a total of 15 roads associated with the Soviet era. City Council member Sergei Manakov told the newspaper ‘Moscow Times’ – We want to show that the history of our city is not just related to the former Soviet Union. Our culture is 700 years old.
Manakov is the leader of President Vladimir’s United Russia Party. He said- Roads in the name of Lenin still exist almost everywhere in Russia. We want to make our city stand out from all those places.
According to a study done in the year 2017, 5,776 roads in Russia are named after Lenin. These names have also been changed in many other cities before Tarusa. The city of Leningrad was named after Lenin. But after the Soviet Union collapsed, it was renamed St. Petersburg. That city had the same name before the Soviet Revolution. In the capital city Moscow, some roads named after Lenin have been changed over the decades.
But what has happened in Tarusa is now contrary to the current trend in the country. According to Andrei Kolesnikov, associated with the Carnegie Center, a Moscow-based think tank, now more and more people in Russia are beginning to have a good opinion about the Soviet Union.
A large number of people have now become positive about the former Soviet ruler Stalin. Last year such opinions reached record levels. A survey conducted by the independent agency Levada Center last March revealed that about 75 percent of people now consider the Soviet era the best period in their country’s history.
According to media reports, Tarusa city with a population of ten thousand has also become increasingly polarized on the issue of name change. Opponents say the City Council took this decision without holding any referendum. An online survey conducted recently revealed that half of the people are against this decision, while almost as many people are its supporters.
At the time when Tarusa has decided to get rid of his communist past, there are some cities that are showing renewed enthusiasm towards the Soviet era symbols. In May this year, the statue of Joseph Stalin was unveiled in Novosivirsk, Russia’s third largest city. This statue is placed in the center of the city. Last week, managers of an apartment in St. Petersburg removed souvenirs belonging to 16 people who were allegedly victims of Stalin’s atrocities.
The Communist Party of Russia has condemned the steps being taken in Tarusa. Party General Secretary Gennadi Juganov said that the ‘great Soviet era’ is being insulted in this city. He said that Tarussa officials are following Nazi and fascist footsteps.