The names of 12 cities in Karnataka including Bangalore were officially changed to reflect the Devanagiri and local Kannada language scripts in the names here on Saturday. Following an approval issued for changing the names of 12 Karnataka cities – including that of Bangalore to Bengaluru – by the union Ministry of Home Affairs on October 17 this year the Karnataka government issued a notification Friday making the name change effective November 1 which is the state formation day.
The change of names of 12 cities will see Bangalore being called Bengaluru; Mangalore called Mangaluru; Mysore called Mysuru; Bellary called Ballari; Bijapur called Vijayapura; Belgaum called Belagavi; Chikmagalur called Chikkamagaluru; Gulbarga called Kalaburagi; Hospet called Hosapete; Shimoga called Shivamogga; Hubli called Hubballi and Tumkur called Tumkuru.
The new names have been given for the 12 cities with Devanagiri and Roman script spellings approved by the Ministry of Science and Techology in August 2013 the Karnataka government stated in an official notification to announce the introduction of the new names effective Saturday.
According to an apocryphal, 12th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II lost his way during a hunting expedition in a forest. A poor old woman offered him boiled beans to the tired king, who with a sense of gratitude called the place “benda-kaalu-uru”.
Kempegowda, a feudatory ruler under the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire, was considered the founder of Bangalore.
He chose Bendakaluru for his capital in early 16th century, which transformed into Bengaluru and in colonial times, and during British rule became Bangalore.
The city has in recent decades metamorphosed into the country’s IT capital, earning it the tag the Silicon Valley of India, as also as Biotech capital, after its earlier forms as a Pensioner’s Paradise and Garden City.
With explosive growth and cracking infrastructure, the city has now earned the notorious distinction as “Garbage City”. Bengaluru is also evolving as a “StartUp City”, incubating the new ventures.
Eight years after the state had sent a proposal to the Centre on a sugggestion by Jnanpeeth awardee late U R Ananthamurthy to rechristen Bangalore, the NDA government gave its clearance to it and other changes recently.
The name changing process began in 2006 after the JDS-BJP government announced that they planned to rename 12 cities, including Bangalore and Belgaum.
The process ran into rough weather after the Maharashtra government filed an objection with the Home Ministry on the issue of renaming Belgaum, which it claims is part of that state. Subsequently, it had remained on the backburner.
While the government has changed the names, some educational institutions and private companies are not keen on switching over to the new ones, according to reports.
“The change in name applies to cities, not institutions. Even after rechristening of Bombay and Madras, university names remained the same,” Bangalore University Vice Chancellor B Thimme Gowda has said.
As for private firms and organisations, there will be no compulsion on them to change their registered names, Karnataka Chief Secretary Kuashik Mukherjee said.
“The government is not changing the names in a chauvinistic manner but adhering to the sentiments of the local people,” he added.
Bangalore has now joined the list of other cities to be rechristened after Bombay became Mumbai in 1995, Madras Chennai in 1996, Calcutta Kolkata in 2001 and Trivandrum to Thiruvananthapuram in 1991, among others.
(With PTI Inputs)