Just Chatting with Life

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Whats in a name ?

Karnataka Goverment has taken the Decision of changing Bangalore's name to Bengalooru. In order to justify this decision, they have quoted the examples of Bombay ( Now Mumbai ), Madras ( Now Chennai ), Calcutta ( Now Kolkata) . Such type of changes require a long time to sink in. Especially when the old names have been around for such a long time. I know of people who still call Chennai as Madras ( Recall Srikanth in Fourth Umpire) . Bombay is still called as Bombay by a large fraction of its own residents. When VT was renamed as CST in Mumbai, there was a widespread support for the decision. But even now when i travel in the locals, I find a majority of crowd still calling it VT.

There is more to it than simple habit.These old institutions and names form a special place in everyone's hearts. They develop a certain attachment with them and that is why find it difficult to change their habits. One very good example of this is the India'a premier academic institutes. IIT Bombay is still called as IIT BOMBAY and not IIT Mumbai . And mind you that is the official name ( you'll find it at the entrance) . IIT Madras has not been renamed as IIT Chennai . Similarly, IIM Calcutta has not been renamed as IIM Kolkata. Now i wonder why the governments have not focussed their attention on changing the names of these institutions. Is it because these institutes have forged an identity of their own which is independent of the city they are in ? Going by this logic, renaming of Bangalore is not such a good idea. Bangalore has become synomonous with an Emergent India, An India that is world leader in IT & IT Services. Why, they have even formed a new word "Bangalored" . What i am trying to say is that Bangalore represents much more than just a name.

And that is why renaming Bangalore is a bad idea. I dont subscribe to the school of thought that if we continue using Anglicised names , we have a colonial Hangover. The hangover exists in the minds of The politicians who waste their time and energy in pursuing such fruitless exercises. More than 50 years have passed since INdia has become independent. You stop a person on the road and ask him if the Bangalore brings in his mind the Colonial rule and the answer in all probability will be NO. But our already bankrupt state governments waste a large amount of Taxpayers money in implementing such fruitless exercises. Would this money not be better spent if they were to invest it in some Welfare activity. But sadly, Judicious use of public money has never been a forte of Indian Politicians.

What next ? Indraprastha in place of Delhi, Patliputra in place of Patna ? After all ,whats in a name !!


  • I coudn't agree more with you.Also to be noted is the fact that there is a huge brand equity attached with the name(not to mention the menu cost) which is lost when the politicians decides to change it for no apparant reasons.

    By Blogger coolvir, at December 14, 2005 12:58 PM  

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