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What’s in a name?

Mumbai: After the British newspaper, The Independent, decided to use ‘Bombay’ rather than referring to the city as ‘Mumbai’, the issue has garnered heat on social media in India.

The editor, Amol Rajan, felt the renaming of Bombay as Mumbai was due to the close minded view of Hindu nationalists.

In 1995, the city was officially renamed as Mumbai. The move was forced upon by the far-right Hindu party Shiv Sena. However, many believe the old colonial name still exists in every Mumbaikar’s hearts and is often used interchangeably.

“The whole point of Bombay is of an open cosmopolitan port city, the gateway to India that’s open to the world,” said Rajan, born in Calcutta and raised in London

“If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them,” said the editor during an interview with BBC radio

“As journalists, as someone who edits The Independent, it’s incredibly important to be specific about our terminology.”

“I’d rather side with the tradition of India that’s been open to the world, rather than the one that’s been closed, which is in the ascendancy right now,” he said, referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

The city was renamed by Shiv Sena as Mumbai after the Goddess Mumbadevi, the protector of the fishermen, the original inhabitants of the city.

The Marathi speakers always referred to the city as Mumbai, whereas “Bombay” the anglicised name was used by the Britishers.

Well if you are confused, this stand-up comedian could explain why he refers to ‘Mumbai’ as ‘Bombay’ and not the other way round.

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