After Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, it is Bangalore’s turn now. Sometime next month, the anglicized name ‘Bangalore’ will be replaced by its Kannada cousin “Bengaluru”. Sometimes I wonder what we achieve by changing the names of our cities. What do we really gain out of it? Does it really make a difference apart from satisfying the politicians’ hunger for populism and the urges of people who raise a hue & cry for everything that matters to nobody? Instead of a forward-looking constructive approach, which focuses on building our cities, we confine ourselves to mindless debates of nuisance value. Moreover, a change in names is a drain on public money. Changes would need to made in official stationary, office supplies, banners, websites and in so many other things. Instead, this money could have been used for more productive purposes.
Shakespeare famously remarked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other word would smell as sweet.”
Bangalore, call it what you like, will remain the same. Life in the city will not change unless you do something about it more than changing its mere name. The same traffic woes. The same beautifully created potholes. The same narrow roads. Flyovers that take ages to complete. Digging up of foot-paths. Rash traffic. Auto-wallahs demanding obnoxious fares in the night. No party post 11:30pm. Uncontrolled office-space absorption. Sky-rocketing rents.
Life will go on as it is…