Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Long live Bombay and Poona

Some Marathi fundamentalists want the names Bombay and Poona erased. In Bombay some institutes were targetted. In Poona around 100 institutes are asked to change their names. They are threatened that if the names are not changed voluntarily there will be consequences. Threatening in such a way is terrorism and needs to be resisted. There shall be no appeasement of fundamentalists.

Prakash John Mascarenhas has this to say about the name Bombay

The Marathi with their brute majority began to idiomise the name of the city. Their name for it, Mumbai, obviously a corruption of the English Bombay, they justified as being derived from the Mumbadevi temple and they alleged according to this new mythology that this was the original name of the city. However, that is obviously impossible for the simple reason that the English entry predated the erection of this temple and also because there is not a shred of historical evidence of the use of the name of Mumbai prior to the era of English Bombay.

(Fact sheet GOA www.geocities.com/orthopapism/contrapuri.html)

Updated link: http://www.geocities.ws/prakashjm45/goa/contrapuri.html

It is time for people who own anything with the name Bombay and Poona to stand firm and say they will not succumb to pressure. Law and order is a state subject and Government of Maharashtra has to protect them and punish hooligans and vandals.

Bombay geographically belongs to Konkan. Konkani-speaking people are the original inhabitants of Konkan. Marathi-speaking people later outnumbered Konkani-speaking people.

Bombay was built by the British. It was capital of Bombay Presidency which stretched from North Kanara to Singh and included Aden. In English it was officially Bombay and in other languages had different names. Many institutes came up which had Bombay in their names. One of them is Bombay Scottish School. The children of a leader of a political party were studying in the school. After they shifted to another school the members of that party demonstrated against the school and wanted to change its name. They want to change the names of many other institutes. (One journalist turned politician turned cricket official recently wrote about the leader that the leader is a Konkani and not Marathi.)

The son of a leader of a political party studies in the school. On the day of vandalism the principal tried to contact the leader but the leader was out of station.

Now also most people refer to it as Bombay while speaking in English. Even many Marathi speakers refer to the city as Bombay. One Marathi newspaper had reported that Vilasrao Deshmukh was not in favour of change of name. St. Petersburg became Petrograd, then Leningrad and then again St. Petersburg. It is time for people who like the name Bombay to demand that Bombay be officially Bombay once again.

If Bombay is made the capital of India it can make a difference. It will not cost much. Governors House can be Presidents House. Houses of state ministers, MLAs and MLCs can be houses of union ministers and MPs. Offices can be in Mantralaya. During winter there is fog in Delhi and flight and train schedules are affected. Headquarters of many Central Government institutions are in Bombay. The bungalows and flats of MPs in Delhi can be sold for large sums.

Nagpur can be the capital of Maharashtra. It has Governors House, houses of state ministers, MLAs and MLCs. Winter session of Maharashtra legislature is held there.

Delhi was not always the capital of India. Pataliputra was the capital of Magadha Empire. No dynasty ruled from Delhi for a long time. From 1206 to 1526 Slave, Khilji, Tughlak and Lodhi dynasties ruled from Delhi. Babur founded the Mughal Empire in 1526. Humayun succeeded in 1530. Sher Khan defeated him in 1540. Humayun returned in1555 and died in 1556. Akbar tried Fatehpur Sikri as capital and later made Agra the capital of Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan made Delhi his capital. He was overthrown in 1658 and spent last eight years of his life as a prisoner in Agra Fort. The Muhal Empire disintegrated after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. The British Empire in India began with Calcutta as its capital. Simla was the summer capital. The British shifted the capital to Delhi in 1931 and the decline of British Empire in India began. In 1932 Aden was separated from India. In 1937 Burma was separated from India. In 1947 British rule in India came to an end and Pakistan was separated from India.

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