Almost 20 years after Bombay became Mumbai and Madras Chennai, Bangalore was renamed Bengaluru on Saturday.
The eight-year-old proposal to shed the anglicised name for the capital of Karnataka was realised with the state government issuing a gazette notification on October 31. The Union home ministry had approved the name change last month.
Along with Bangalore, 11 other cities and towns in the state had their names changed. To mark the 59th Karnataka Rajyotsava (state formation day), Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued the notification on Friday evening. All new names have come into effect from November 1, 2014. According to the notification, the names are spelt in the Devanagari and English scripts.
Eight years ago a coalition government of the Janata Dal(S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party had sent the proposal to the Centre on a suggestion from the late U R Ananthamurthy. However, it was not cleared by the Centre immediately because the Maharashtra government argued renaming Belgaum would hurt the sentiments of Marathi-speaking people living in the district. The United Progressive Alliance government put the decision on ice.
The Union home ministry issued its clearance last month for changing the name of Belgaum, a border city, to Belagavi. The Maharashtra Ekikarana Samithi has contested Karnataka’s move to change the name of Belgaum in the Supreme Court.
Bangalore is the fifth state capital to have its name changed. Bombay became Mumbai, Madras Chennai, Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram, and Calcutta Kolkata. Pondicherry has been renamed Puducherry and Orissa became Odisha.
The other Karnataka cities that have shed their anglicised names are Mangalore, Mysore, Gulbarga, Hubli, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Bellary, Bijapur, Hospet and Tumkur. They will now be called, respectively, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Kalburagi, Hubballi, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Ballari, Vijayapura, Hosapete and Tumakuru.
Karnataka’s Law Minister T B Jayachandra said all government corporations and institutions would have to switch over to the new names. There will be no compulsion on private companies to change their registered names. Central government bodies like the Survey of India, the ministry of communication and information technology, defence and railways have given their consent for changing names of the 12 cities.