From Tomorrow, It's Bengaluru, Not Bangalore

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From Tomorrow, It's Bengaluru, Not Bangalore
Bangalore:  Bangalore officially becomes Bengaluru tomorrow and Mysore will be Mysuru. 12 of Karnataka's major towns and cities revert to their old Kannada names after the Union Home Ministry this month cleared a proposal made by the state nine years ago.

It's a birthday gift - Karnataka turns 68 on Saturday. The state had sought the Centre's clearance for the change in names in 2006.

The official shift from Bangalore to Bengaluru was a demand made by many, including UR Ananthamurthy, the late Jnanpith award winner.

"It is not really a change of name. It is only a change of spelling. We have always been saying Bengaluru. Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam speakers, local people have always said Bengaluru. It is not like Madras being turned into Chennai which was a distinct change of name," said Girish Karnad, well known actor.

Public opinion is mixed.

A resident of the IT city said, "I think we have come a long way from Bengaluru to Bangalore, and Bangalore has been around for a long time. We even have a term in the IT industry called 'Bangalored'. If there is nothing fundamentally wrong with a name like Bangalore and it is already famous, people know it, recognise it the world over, there is no reason to change it back to Bengaluru. It is futile, you waste time, money, effort and it creates confusion."

But another resident said, "Bangalore should have its originality. Those with a British accent started using the name Bangalore and those who don't know how to speak Kannada. Bengaluru is the name that should be used."

Apart from Bangalore and Mysore, the other cities that will formally get new old names tomorrow are: Belgaum - Belagavi, Mangalore - Mangaluru, Gulbarga - Kalaburagi, Hubli - Hubballi, Shimoga - Shivamogga, Chikmagalur - Chikkamagaluru, Bellary - Ballari, Bijapur - Vijapura or Vijayapura, Hospet - Hosapete, Tumkur - Tumakuru.

Political considerations are said to be the main reason for the delay in the Centre's OK for the state's proposal, made when the Congress' Dharam Singh was chief minister. For one, neighbouring Maharashtra had appealed against Belgaum, on the border of the two states, being renamed. It argued that many Marathi people who have lived in the area for years would feel alienated.

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