Friday, September 25, 2009

India......Anglicized.... and back

City name change is a common occurrence in India. And not only in India, the names of cities have danced, oscillated, born, killed over the whims and fancies of the party ruling there.

Bombay to Mumbai ...... not so bad. Even songs have been written, Ganpat Daru La
At least there is no way of pronouncing mumbai, other than the correct one. But people still love the old name, as is apparent from the fact that after the name change from Bombay to Mumbai, The Times of India, began publishing a "Mumbai edition." The edition's feature section is still called the Bombay Times . At least they have spared the STOCKS it's still BSE.

Calcutta to Kolkata ...... Well as far as my experience goes this city has experienced a name change only on paper. From the mouth of ( the not so familiar with Bengal or Bengali ) people it comes out as Kaulkatta. I remember everybody could suddenly see a lot of K's around themselves. Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Kolakta Tramways, K this, K that. A person who is generally glued to the television ( Zee, Star Plus, Sahara one, Sony and likes) from 1 PM to 5 PM could easily figure out the Ekta Kapporization of Calcutta.

Madras to Chennai ..... I dont know any Tamil, but even then , this I feel has been the worst of changes. The word "Madras" itself commanded certain respect. My grandmother still uses "mudrasss" in her conversation.

It is not that Indians don't like Indian names. Our fathers did not name us as Canning ( a street in Kaulkutta) . The problem is a city is renamed by the local politicians, and the renamed name might cause a lot of problems to people not belonging to that region.
Take Kerala for example. Only after going there did i realize that "Kozhikode" is actually pronounced as "Korrrikode".

Renaming of cities takes place all round the globe.Wiki List
Take the example of 'Tabora' capital city of some region in Tanzania. After German colonization it was named 'Weidmannsheil'. After the German left it was quietly named back to 'Tabora'

But one may also argue that it would take one generation to get used to the new names and after that things would pretty be normal. A child born now would not care whether Chennai was Madras previously. To him Madras would sound like a fairy world name.

Future possibilities :)

Ahmedabad - > Karnavati
Lucknow - > Lakshman Puri

Delhi - > Indraprashtha
Delhi - > Dilli

Thursday, September 24, 2009


One just cant stop wondering about politics. Its everywhere in India. In offices,homes,schools,vedas and uh..of course The Parliament. The subtle difference is that people in Parliament have Politics as their " prime business" whereas for others it is "side business".

Recently there had been a spate of news, unearthing, digging out cases 6 to 7 years back. There were many of them. And to add to the already generated hype, the media clung to it for a whole week, till the issues became boring.

1) Whether the Nuclear test ( the second) was a failure or success.
Again that old "Cong-BJP" war. If the test was a success then the scientist who claimed otherwise should die with shame. One should simply think of national interests while issuing such comments.

2) Swine Flu
Wow, The deaths were tracked like anything, with an hourly city by city basis. It is good that they are doing this but if only they can do this with existing diseases like "malaria", "dengue","typhoid" etc etc ..... so many lives can be saved. Just because it became a global phenomenon
did our Indian Media deemed it necessary to cover it.

3) Gujarat Case
I dont know the details but it went on for quite some time, round the clock.

Interestingly other major issues were kept at bay like

1) Drought in Bihar ( almost nobody knows about it)
Its as if everybody has taken for granted that there will be some drought or the other.

2) ISRO ( Well I dont think any other technical government entity has progressed as ISRO has done and it is only through sheer hard work).

3) Commonwealth Games
What is the status of preparation? We don't know
What all are they going to build? We don't know
Why are newly made bridges collapsing? We don't know ( this actually nobody knows)

4) Kasab
What's going on with Kasab? Is he still in jail or scot free?
When is he going to be released? ( Obviously he cannot be convicted,Indian Judiciary could not find strong evidence against him. He needed to kill many more people to be charged with some kind of felony)