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Of Bangalore, Bengaluru and Belagavi
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | February 20, 2008 16:01 IST
There was a lot of resistance, especially from a cosmopolitan crowd in Bangalore, when the city's name was changed to Bengaluru. The government has made it clear that the name will have to be Bengaluru.
The decision to change the name was officially taken by the government in August 2007. Immediately after this decision was taken, several boards in city effected the name change. In fact, the first to implement the name was the State Public Prosecutor's Office at the Karnataka High Court in the judicature of Bangalore. Gradually, people came to terms with the name Bengaluru though several people continued to protest, stating that the cosmopolitan feel of the city would be lost if the name is changed.
However, now it seems clear that there is no option but to go with the new name. Prominent changes can be noticed at the Bengaluru International Airport and the Hard Rock Caf� Bengaluru. While this seems to be the case, an astonishing fact is that several government websites continue to call it Bangalore. Even the city corporation is called Bruhat Bangalore Municipal Corporation.
Taking a look at this issue closely, one realises that the government has intentionally not effected the name change due to political reasons. With Bangalore, the government had proposed to change the name of 13 other places in Karnataka, which includes Belgaum to Belagavi, a boiling point in the relations between Maharasthra and Karnataka.
The Centre, which is yet to give a nod, has not done so as yet. Government sources said that all the other names, including Bengaluru, has been cleared, but there is a problem regarding Belgaum. Maharashtra has raised an objection and the Centre, too, is towing the line as both the states are locked in a border dispute over Belgaum.
Karnataka can well go ahead with the rest of the changed names, but has intentionally put on hold all the other names thanks to Belgaum. Karnataka feels it will be better to effect the change in totality rather than keep one name on hold while effecting the rest. For Karnataka, Belgaum is a prestigious issue and under no circumstance is it willing to let go of the boundaries as claimed by Maharashtra. If only the name change of Belgaum is kept pending, then it would give the impression that the government is neglecting this place.
The changed names of the remaining places have been approved by the Ministry of Communication, Civil Aviation Ministry and also the Ministry of Defence. The file is now pending before the Union Home Ministry which is waiting for the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict on the border dispute. The Kannada and Culture department in Bangalore says that it is in touch with the Centre and the official notification would come through soon.
The Karnataka government, however, adds that there is no restriction in going ahead with the name change in all cities except Belgaum and it is just a matter of time.
It is also stated that there is no hard and fast rule that the names can be changed only after an approval from the centre. In the cases of name changes in Maharasthra and Tamil Nadu, the respective states had first changed the names officially and then intimated the Centre. The entire procedure for Karnataka would take at least another year, with the Supreme Court yet to decide on the petition pertaining to the border dispute the two states are having. It is only once this is changed will the Union Home Ministry take a final call on the name Belgavi.
Changed names of places in Karnataka: