Bangalore renamed Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Karnataka's capital Bangalore Saturday shed its colonial name to become Bengaluru along with 11 other cities across the state, renamed in the native Kannada language.

The renaming of India's tech hub and other cities coincided with Karnataka's 59th formation day.

An official told IANS here: "The state government late Friday notified that Bangalore and 11 other cities across the state will be pronounced and spelt in Kannada from Nov 1, following approval by the central government to rename them in the local language."

As the fifth largest city in the country, Bangalore drew global attention over the last decade, riding on the success of its resilient IT industry, talent pool, salubrious climate and cosmopolitan culture of its nine million denizens.

Other well-known cities like Mysore will be pronounced and spelt Mysuru, Mangalore as Mangaluru, Belgaum as Belagavi, Bellary as Ballari, Hubli as Hubballi and Gulbarga in the state's northern region as Kalaburgi.

The remaining five cities - Bijapur became Vijayapura, Chikmagalur Chikkamagaluru, Hospet Hosapeta, Shimoga in Malnad region as Shivamogga and Tumkur Tumakuru.

Heralding the Karnataka Rajyotsava Day at a colourful cultural event in the city centre, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the gathering that it was a proud moment for the 60-million people of the state to pronounce names of a dozen cities in Kannada and use them officially hereafter.

He said: "We propose to rename other cities and towns in the state in due course after assessing the impact of changes to the 12 cities with a population of 0.5-1 million."

Though old timers and majority of citizens, including locals speak and write Bengaluru in Kannada, they use Bangalore when conversing or writing in English.

N. Mahadevappa, a college teacher, told IANS: "Bangalore has been Bangalored! Renaming has robbed the city's charming Anglican name and fame. It's official. We have no choice but follow and get used to it."

US Secretary of State John Kerry was the first politician who coined or used "Bangalored" in the run-up to the 2008 presidential poll to highlight how low-cost Indian software firms were taking away thousands of tech jobs from his country due to increasing outsourcing of services.

The official said: "Renaming states and cities is not new. We are behind other states like Maharashtra which made the historical Bombay into Mumbai, while Madras became Chennai, Calcutta Kolkata, Poona Pune, Baroda Vadodara and Orissa Odisha. We have done to popularise our cities' original names and respect the people's sentiments."

The renaming exercise began in 2006 when the state's first coalition government between Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) proposed to mark the state's golden jubilee (50 years) in response to the demand by social, cultural and political organisations. It was also endorsed by the state legislature during the former BJP rule.

The state government will Monday direct corporations, departments and institutions to change their nameplates and stationery accordingly.

Chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee said: "Private firms or organisations will not be compelled to change their registered names if there is reference to any of the 12 cities."


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