Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One more letter to differentiate

Finally, centre has approved Karnataka state government’s proposal to rename Bangalore and 12 other cities in the state. So from now on Bangalore will be Bengaluru (not sure whether this will be Bengaluru or Bengalooru) and Mangalore will be Mangaluru. So one more letter to differentiate between Bangalore and Mangalore, previously it was the initial letter and now the first 2 letters.

Renaming the cities to its original name has been an old phenomenon, not only in India but in other parts of the world too and it is more so in those regions which were colonized. A classical example is of the city in Turkey, now known as Istanbul. Originally named by Greek as Byzantium, then by Romans as Constantinople and now presently known as Istanbul. And neighboring Burma changed its capital name to Yangon from Rangoon of British after independence.

Most of the change in names of the cities of the world from the original ones can be attributed to the British, as they renamed several of them in their colonial empire for their easy pronunciation. Like in Karnataka, we have Coorg for Kodagu, Shimoga for Shivamogga and Kaup for Kapu. In India renaming of cities started with commercial hub Bombay getting back its original name Mumbai. Then Calcutta, Madras followed suit for being renamed as Kolkata and Chennai respectively.

Whatever may be the opinion against the renaming of the cities people get used to the new names over a course of time. As it is the case with most Indian cities too like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkota.

But interesting to note is the effect of changing the names of roads in the city. It is here the name change has less impact. People use the old names only to refer to the now renamed roads. For example, did you ever notice that in Bangalore, Race Course Road is officially named as Devraj Urs Road and Residency Road’s official name is FM Cariappa Road?.

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1 comment:

  1. Good thing is that only english sign board will have to be changed, that too vowels...(unlike entire name changes in case of Madras, Bombay etc)



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