Politics and emotions behind renaming Mumbai’s streets | mumbai news


Elphinstone Street to Prabhadevi, Colaba Causeway to Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Victoria Terminus to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Bombay to Mumbai — 71 years after independence, Mumbai’s colonial previous remains to be on the center of its politics. In 2018, the renaming of the town’s roads, structures, junctions and monuments was once the second-most mentioned factor within the civic frame, in line with a document through the Praja Basis.

Why get rid of colonial names for legacy constructions such a lot of years later, what is going into the renaming, and, will previous Mumbaiites ever use the brand new names?

The consumer goddess of the native Koli neighborhood, Mumbadevi, took centrestage within the town’s politics in 1995, the 12 months Bombay changed into Mumbai. The Shiv Sena, the birthday party in energy that 12 months, driven for the trade to champion the reason for the Marathi-speaking “sons of the soil”. As of late, the renaming of towns is again to being a best time table for politicians, with the Sena pushing to switch the names of 2 Maharashtrian towns — Aurangabad and Osmanabad — after towns in Uttar Pradesh had been renamed.

However, what does it imply for a various town like Mumbai? It’s a part of the town’s herbal evolution, stated Tasneem Mehta, trustee of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, identified until 1975 because the Victoria and Albert Museum. “The museum is set India and Indian traditions,” stated Mehta. “Bhau Daji Lad was once instrumental in surroundings it up, he raised the finances, he did the analysis. I believe it’s an overly suitable selection.”

Mehta, alternatively, added {that a} call trade doesn’t imply the historical past is misplaced. “The historical past will all the time be there, however possibly, it has larger relevance to the neighborhood now.”

There are others who imagine renaming public areas is going hand in hand with the politics of statue removals, which first won momentum all over the Maharashtra Samyukt Samiti motion of the 1950s and 1960s — and once more during the last few years. It was once the Samiti that had demanded the advent of a separate Marathi-speaking state from the State of Bombay — which on the time lined each Maharashtra and Gujarat.

“After the statue of Queen Victoria was once got rid of from the Victoria Terminus [now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus], no person is aware of the place it was once taken,” stated Aadil Desai, a member of the Bombay Native Historical past Society (BLHS). “The statue of the prince of Wales that was once at Kala Ghoda was once moved to Rani Baug.” By the way, Rani Baug was once at the beginning referred to as Victoria Lawn. Its call was once modified to Jijamata Udyan, after Shivaji’s mom Jijabai – a reminder of ways the Maratha king nonetheless serves as a potent image of Marathi identification.

In some instances, the brand new Indian names don’t have anything to do with the monument or its origins. For example, the Prince of Wales Museum was once renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vatsu Sanghralya. “Since we’re casting off colonial names, Prince of Wales needed to pass. However a easy call equivalent to ‘Museum of Western India’ would have higher outlined the structure and scope of the museum,” a town historian identified.

In the meantime, there may be an rising voice among Mumbaiites who imagine the name-changes stay on paper.

“The previous call is the previous call. A real Bombay guy will die pronouncing Altamount Street (although it was once renamed SK Barodawallah Marg virtually 3 a long time in the past),” stated town historian Deepak Rao. “In the event you inform a taxi-wallah to visit Shahid Bhagat Singh Street, he’ll no longer perceive.” What’s as of late Shahid Bhagat Singh Street was once in reality 4 spaces in south Mumbai — Colaba Street, Colaba Causeway, Customized Space Street, and Mint Street, Rao defined.

Then, there are the ones involved concerning the logistic demanding situations the call adjustments pose. “Many boulevard names are vital, no longer handiest as a result of they constitute the native historical past of the world, but additionally for navigation,” stated Pankaj Joshi, president, City Design Analysis Institute (UDRI). “This particularly occurs with the renaming of chowks. So, in case you are travelling through a BEST bus, you could finally end up going to Colaba whilst you’re searching for one thing in Byculla.”

Joshi stated to get rid of this confusion, there was once an offer within the heritage committee a number of years in the past to stay the brand new call but additionally point out the previous call in brackets. “That manner, you could have the historic reference and other people gained’t get puzzled, no less than for a couple of years.”

The keenness to Indianise localities and roads has additionally left in its path some fake pas.

“When a reputation trade is proposed through an elected consultant within the civic frame, it’s referred to the respective ward officials. The ward officials are liable for examining the world and making sure the brand new call falls consistent with Brihanmumbai Municipal Company’s norms,” stated a senior civic respectable. “This type of norms is that the call of a highway can’t be modified whether it is an Indian call.”

There’s a renewed hobby in naming streets and railway stations after the 19th century social reformer Jaganath (Nana) Shankarsheth, stated Desai of the BHLS. “Gunbow Boulevard, renamed Rustom Sidhwa Marg, was once a reputation given through the British to honour an Indian, Ganpat Sheth, considered one of Nana Shankarsheth’s ancestors. Gunbow was once a corrupted type of Ganbab, as he was once fondly referred to as,” Desai stated. “However Gunbow Boulevard was once renamed Rustom Sidhwa Marg because it was once assumed to be a colonial call!”


First Revealed: Nov 10, 2018 22:56 IST



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