The Politics of Name Changes in India Essay

The Politics of Name Changes in India Essay

Length: 3346 words (9.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Politics of Name Changes in India

Ever since independence in 1947, many locations in India have changed their names. Much of this resulted from the reorganization of the states on linguistic lines (as opposed to British colonial divisions). However, in the last six years, many major towns and cities have been renamed in ways that affect foreigners more. Among this flood of changes, three stand out. These are the former cities of Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta, which, together with Delhi, are considered the "mega cities" of India.1 They are the four most populous cities in India, and all but Madras are among the 15 most populous cities in the world.2 As a result, they are important commercial and transit hubs, and are well known outside India. Yet nearly six years later, most non-Indians still have no idea that they are now named Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. Given the difficulties involved in these changes, one expects compelling justifications for the changes. In each case, these changes have officially been justified on anti-colonialist grounds. However, I will argue that these changes are instead tools for channeling regionalist sentiment in the conflict between the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the centrist Indian National Congress (INC), and various regional parties. Opponents of the INC proposed all these names, but those proposed by the BJP and its nationalist allies have been more divisive.

The case of Mumbai was the first major change to happen, and is thus the best known. In 1995, the ruling party in the government of the state of Maharashtra (of which Bombay was capital) announced that Bombay's name would be changed to its Marathi name, Mumbai.3 The casual observer would assume that the name "B...


... middle of paper ...


...ttp://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/52a/076.html - a BBC article about the Kolkata name change
* http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/indian_subcontinent/mumbai/history.htm - a travel site with a history of Mumbai. (It connects Bal Thackeray, the leader of the Shiv Sena, to Adolf Hitler!)
* http://theory.tifr.res.in/bombay/history/people/language/ - a list of most languages in India spoken by over a million people
* http://www.contactsindia.com/tourism/south/tamil_nadu/madras.htm - a site with information about Chennai
* www.aapkashahar.com - a tourist site with little or no graphics, demonstrating usage of both old and new names for cities
* www.soulkurry.com - a site about women's spirituality in India List of Indian cities that have recently undergone (or may undergo) a name change. (Population figures are from www.citypopulation.de.)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Social Welfare in India Essay

- Social Welfare Social welfare cannot really be bound by a solid definition. It has been used in varying ways by different people, depending on what it is that they want to cover. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), “social welfare generally denotes the full range of organized activities of voluntary and governmental agencies that seek to prevent, alleviate, or contribute to the solution of recognized social problems, or to improve the well-being of individuals, groups, or communities.” At times, social welfare is used to refer to aspects of wellbeing material, like basic access to economic resources....   [tags: Social Welfare Essays]

Better Essays
2529 words (7.2 pages)

Essay about India in the Eighteenth Century

- India in the Eighteenth Century ‘ The eighteenth century saw not so much the decline of the Mughal ruling elite, but its transformation and the ascent of inferior social groups to over political power’. Christopher Bailey examines the changing degree of influence of the Nobility. This is linked to the decline in economic power, as witnessed by the breakdown of the system of assignments that was the Nobility’s instrument of subsistence. Commercial economy is said to have expanded in light of the activities of the ‘revenue farmers’....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

Bharat versus India Ideology Essay

- “Bharat” and “India” Two Ideas of an Independent Indian State Hindu revivalism has been a part of Indian nationalism almost since the independence movement itself began. However, it has gone through many forms and been embodied in many different organizations, often being ignored in the forum of Indian politics. However, the victory of the Hindu revivalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the elections since 1998 has forced many scholars to reconsider the history of such movements, to analyze the forms they have taken throughout the 20th century....   [tags: Hindu Bharatiya Independence]

Better Essays
3589 words (10.3 pages)

Gandhi's Change Essay

- Throughout history, societies have had troubles due to religion, war and racism. From within each society or religion there are those who have fought for the correct and moral solution for the entire people. One person who fit these ideals and tried to make life great and equal for the many people in his home was Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi lived a very interesting life and moved to create equality throughout the country of India and the world. Gandhi was born in 1869 in the current Indian State of Gujarat....   [tags: biography, religion, politics]

Better Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

India 's Politics And Philosophical Views Essay

- -Classical India centered on religion and social structure, rather than China’s politics and philosophical views -Similarities with China include, patriarchal views, family life, agricultural ways, and use of trade -The constant invasions by the Aryans played a role in shaping Classical India -Location lead to being largely impacted by outside influences, more so than China  Mixture of Hellenistic culture with India caused by Alexander the Great  Persian empire ruling a part of India at one point in history  Allowed themselves to be influenced by the outside world  More open towards other cultures -Topography (mountains, rivers) made country more diverse and unity difficult -Different...   [tags: Hinduism, India, Epic poetry, Gautama Buddha]

Better Essays
1750 words (5 pages)

Essay on INDIA: THE BEST FOREIGN MARKET

- INTRODUCTION When determining if a foreign country is a good market to expand into, many factors will help choose which market is best. These factors include Culture, Politics and Law, the Current National Economy, Market Size and Demand, Human Resources, and Financial Resources and Profitability. The factors listed above are not all-inclusive, but give a well-defined checklist to compare other markets. These factors will be discussed and prove that India is a great market to expand into for Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) services....   [tags: India]

Better Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of India in Comparative Politics Essay

- Analysis of India in Comparative Politics Perhaps the most important issue to be addressed after the publication of this book is the dangerous climate that has risen in India. The debates over Kashmir, a small piece of territory both India and neighboring country Pakistan have been claiming since the 1940s, has heated up. The situation has grown to a point where the two nuclear powers have come the closest they have ever been to war, while the world holds its breath. When Great Britain gave India its independence in 1947, the subcontinent was split into Pakistan and India....   [tags: Compare Contrast History Essays]

Better Essays
2278 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on India, America and Nuclear Politics

- India, America and Nuclear Politics As we head towards the next millennium, no longer are there a few, traditional forces to lead the world economically. "Third-world" nations, such as India, are beginning to harness their manpower into greater modes of production, which signifies the end of "superpowers," and the beginning of economic parity throughout the world. In this age of globalization, it is becoming quite clear that no longer can the United States dictate world order. In the coming years, expect interdependence from every country, which will eliminate the state of the superpowers as we know it....   [tags: International Politics Political Essays Papers]

Better Essays
1452 words (4.1 pages)

Political Parties Essay

- A recent analysis of the Jacobin ethos of the Tea Party describes them as "a group of angry Americans who want to be freer still free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth and well-being. They have trouble-free and policies too complex for them to realize, free experts who think they know more than they do, free of politicians who do not talk like them. Political party is a public association established for the participation of citizens in the political life of the community through the formation and expression of their political will to participate in social and political action in elections and referenda, as well as to represent the interests of citizens in government...   [tags: tea party, politics, ideology, republicans]

Better Essays
1466 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about india reborn

- In India’s huge and booming economy there are a lot of ways that you can go from being an untouchable to being one of the richest people there. The key for India is to become a model for the world is through education and it also helps that it is the worlds largest democracy. There are three different classes in India the upper class, the middle class which is the largest of the world, and the untouchables and they are all trying to help and make India a better place. The upper class in India is doing many different things to try and make India a better place....   [tags: india]

Better Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)