Known around the world for its MNCs, such as Microsoft, TCS, Wipro, golf courses and gated colonies that dot the cityscape, Gurgaon is set to get a new name — Gurugram. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced the decision Tuesday along with that of Mewat, which will be called Nuh.
Though Khattar has given in-principle approval for the changes, the decision will now be placed before the Haryana cabinet before it is sent to the union government.
Gurgaon’s name change stems from a proposal by the municipal corporation in 2012. A committee had been formed to address the issue.
“In the past two years, after various meetings of the House, the resolution to change the name was passed thrice. This is a positive step and will only draw all of us closer to the rich heritage Gurgaon once had — which we all have forgotten about as a result of urbanisation,” said Gurgaon Mayor Vimal Yadav, who was part of the committee that recommended the name change to the CM.
The mayor, along with other councillors, has also been working on the idea to erect a statue of Guru Dronacharya at an important landmark in the city.
According to a corporation committee member, Gurgaon is said to have been the ancestral village of Guru Dronacharya, who in the Mahabharata instructed the Pandavas and Kauravas. “Most of us feel the city should be renamed Gurugram to emphasise the fact that this is where Guru Dronacharya used to live. Not many people are aware of it and there is nothing wrong in renaming it,” said the member.
According to officials, the change of name will not make much difference in corporation records. “Corporation officials will be asked to change the name from Gurgaon to Gurugram in all revenue and registry records. All the records are available online and the entire process of changing the name will take about three months,” said Yadav.
However, a section of corporates in Gurgaon feel otherwise. Some expressed concern about the effect the change will have on Gurgaon’s “brand image” and, consequently, its ability to attract investments.
“This won’t affect the working of companies per se, but, in my personal opinion, the name can have a negative impact from a brand perspective. If you’re trying to attract talent and investment, the name won’t do much, it sounds almost medieval.”
The business leader of an MNC, with country headquarters in Gurgaon, also said the renaming was a confusing move. “Precious funds will end up getting directed to purely administrative or symbolic changes, whereas some very real-life needs in infrastructure and human development will continue to go remain undeveloped for want of funds,” he said.
Official said the name Gurgaon is a corruption of Guru Gram, ie, village of a spiritual leader.
Umesh Aggarwal, the BJP MLA from Gurgaon, said, “The demand to change the name to Gurugram has been on for the past 12 to14 years. This place never was Gurgaon. It always was Guru Gaon — village of the Guru. People distorted the name. Guru Dronacharya’s ashram was here — where Kauravas and Pandavas gained their gurukul. Mata Sheetla was his wife. We have a temple in her name in old Gurgaon.”