Many may be wondering whether the proposed change of name of the City of Bangalore to Bengaluru has anything to do with Numerology.  Some say that killing “Brand Bangalore” which is known worldwide and given the tag “Silicon City of India” is a marketing blunder.

Leaving aside the arguments in favour of or against the “Brand”, it appears that there is one other strong reason why there is a ground for calling “Bangalore” as “Bengaluru”. This change though practically painful will serve one purpose ..that every one will notice that Bangalore is no longer Bangalore. Then they will ask why Bangalore had to become Bengaluru?. Then some one will tell them that this is because this is how Bangalore is called in Kannada. Oh! Kannada?..What is it? Is it Kannad which our TV fellows refer? Or is it Karnad?. Then some one will tell them that Kannada is a language spoken by over 50 million people, often not remembered by people in Bangalore and is the official language of a state called Karnataka in South India.

I am sure that this will be a news to many in the world who think that South Indian means “Madarsi” and nothing else.

Thus this urge to preserve self identity for the state is one of the reasons why Bangalore has to give way to Bengaluru.
Let us not dismiss this argument as a chauvinistic argument. Look at the papers today. (Vijaya Karnataka dated 6th November 2006, Bangalore). There is an interesting report which reproduces a copy of a letter written by Mr V.K.Gupta, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in which he forwards a letter to the Joint Secretary refering to “Belgaum, Maharashtra”. I am not sure if he is imaginging that there is a second city by the same name in Maharashtra other than the one in Karnataka.

Should we interpret this as “Political Mischief” by an official? Or Ignorance about where Belgaum is situated despite the recent notorious publicity generated by some Maharashtra sympathizers who first passed a resolution in the corporation ceding Belgaum to Maharashtra, and hoisted the Maharashtra flag on the Kannada  Rajyotsava Day though Karnataka considers Belgaum as its second capital and held an assembly session a few months back. 

In such a reality of glorious geographical and historical illiteracy of our Government officials, it is better they are reminded that there is no Belgaum now and what we have is only “Belagavi”. Same way, to prevent some other official suddenly realizing that Bangalore is in Tamil Nadu, we better stamp our identity by stating that now there is no “Bangalore”and there is only “Bengaluru”, unmistakably a city of Karnataka.

In the mean time, what do we do with people like Mr Gupta?..Send them back to school so that they can study  history and geography of India better before they return to their responsible positions in the Government?.. Let us aks Mr Shivaraj Patil, his boss in the Minsitry who must know the difference between Belgaum, Maharashtra and Belgaum Karnataka.

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