London: A west London council said Monday that it has been agreed to rename a road in its heavily Punjabi suburb of Southall as Guru Nanak Road. The announcement coincided with Guru Nanak’s 551st birth anniversary being marked as ‘Gurpurab’ across the world. The proposal to rename Havelock Road after Guru Nanak created satisfaction among the Sikh community here, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.
Havelock Road is named after Major General Sir Henry Havelock. He is the British general behind the quashing the Indian rebellion against the East India Company in 1857. The rebellion is referred to as the first war of Indian independence.
Ealing Council said the part of Havelock Road to be renamed lies between King Street and Merrick Road. It includes the location of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall. It is one of the UK’s most well-known and largest gurdwaras.
The name change will come into effect in early 2021. The council is in the process of writing to households, businesses and organisations impacted in advance of the change.
“I welcome this change. Ealing’s diversity is our strength. We have to make sure that the places we live reflect that diversity through our street names and buildings,” said Councillor Kamaljit Dhindsa. He is also the Ealing Council’s cabinet member for business and community services.
Ealing Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell, welcomed the London Mayor’s review. “The decision to rename one of Ealing’s roads reflects the importance of celebrating the borough’s diversity. It is a timely celebration of Guru Nanak’s birthday November 30,” said Bell.