Goel was speaking during the question hour of the ongoing budget session of Parliament.
He said that though the etymology of Delhi is uncertain, popular beliefs suggest the name originated from Raja Dillu, a king of Maurya dynasty who named the city after himself. Some historians believe the name is derived from the word ‘Dehleej’ as Delhi serves as the gateway to the great Indo-Gangetic plains.
Goel said the name of the capital should have its origin in the city’s culture and history, and that the word Delhi does not carry any such character.
“Many people are anyway confused about the name as some call it Delhi, while some say it Dilli,” he said.
He said that demands for naming the city as Indraprastha or Hastinapur have been raised earlier, but at this point he does not propose to do so. Instead, he demanded that the name of the capital city be “spelled correctly”.
Goel said this is not the first time a city or place is renamed to reflect its cultural heritage and historical legacy, and that after Independence, notable Indian cities were officially renamed by legislations.
“A few examples are Cochin which was renamed Kochi; Gauhati was renamed as Guwahati; Bombay was changed to Mumbai; Indur changed to Indore; Poona changed to Pune; Benaras was changed to Varanasi; Calcutta was changed to Kolkata,” he said. There are also certain names whose spellings were rectified, such as Cawnpore became Kanpur, Monghyr became Munger, while Orissa was changed to Odisha, he said.
Goel said he would reach out to other parties to discuss the matter and send a proposal to the Home Ministry.