Name Changing States


Politics play a dirty role in every decision of the Governments in Centre and States. Changing the name of a city or state is one of these many dirty games. It is understandable that localisation of the names is to respect the language and culture. But when even that local names are changed when governments change tell the malafide intentions. Uttranchal to Uttrakhand is the best example. Everyone is put under heavy strain with these name change tamashas. It must stop immediately.

The Times of India writes (24 October 2009)

Just when you were getting used to Bengaluru, they’ve decided to add another tongue-twister to your vocabulary. Orissa is Odisha and
Oriya is now Odia. And for anyone who says `what’s in a name’ ask director-producer Karan Johar who was forced to not just issue a public apology on the use of `Bombay’ but also add a disclaimer to his film `Wake Up Sid’.

In times where being politically correct means not asking uncomfortable questions, the change in nomenclature was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday without discussion. It will get Parliament’s nod soon enough.

While Shiv Sena turned Bombay to Mumbai and similar political compulsions dictated changing Calcutta to Kolkata, our history is replete with examples of regional demands for name changing — whether it is state, language, street or chowk. Erasing fancy sounding British names to earthy Indian ones is a favoured political pastime though it is unclear what dividend it pays.

The proposed change will now require an amendment to the first and eighth schedule of the Constitution which is likely to come up in Parliament soon.

The Orissa assembly had moved a resolution in August to change the state’s name to Odisha and its official language from Oriya to Odia, saying the names had been used wrongly. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik moved the resolution in the House which was approved by a voice vote.

Officials said the state was keen to change its name owing to disparities in pronunciation due to the wrong spelling of the state’s name. It is written as Udisa in Hindi and Orissa in English.

Major cities that have been renamed after Independence include Kanpur (formerly Cawnpore), Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Pune (Poona) and Kochi (Cochin).


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