West Bengal just got rechristened to a brand new vernacular name – Pashcimbanga (to be pronounced as ‘Poshchim-bongo’ with all the ‘o’s to be pronounced in different ways!). Just because the Bard of Avon once said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet", one doesn’t have to take it so seriously! Ask any non-Bong and he would tell you which one is a rose and which one isn’t! This is just first one of the many stages of “poriborton” – or change, that Mamata-di had promised prior to the polls.
This change of name will ‘elevate’ the alphabetical position of the state to seven steps higher – from W to P!! Bravo……never read a reason for a name change more naïve than that. With that logic wouldn’t just a simple Bengal have elevated it to many more steps higher? But then since when did we start crediting our politicians with a sense of logic? Apologies for the error of judgment!
If this is the first step to poriborton, then this is a disaster and the fact that we have not learnt from such errors in the past. Mother Teresa Sarani is still known as Park Street in Calcutta…..oops Kolkata and the famous Netaji Subhash International Airport is still fondly remembered as Dum Dum Airport! Is that kinda dumb? So what, many more things are dumb that our elected politicians do. How many residents of Kolkata can tell me the new names of Camac Street, Canning Street, Amherst Street, Princep Street, and I can go on? By changing the names, have we erased the colonial past? During the 200 years of Imperial rule, the Brits have done many a good and can we respect some for those things? The Railway network, the underground sewage system, the Howrah Bridge, the numerous buildings which have stood the test of time (Victoria Memorial, the Writers Building and so on), the Mint, etc. What is the big deal in renaming all the streets, lanes and bye lanes if people are not going to call them by the new names? What an insult to the memories of all the local personalities!
I would think that it would be more important to focus on tangible change rather than such useless cosmetic changes, which will bring no relief to the Calcuttan (or is it Kolkatan?) The change that all of us are looking for is in the form of development and the image that the now-erstwhile West Bengal carries. I am told that some railway stations are now being painted in shades of green as part of the change-process to the present ruling-party colour from the previous red!
With due apologies to the Bard of Bengal, I can’t help but remember a very famous song written by him – here is the slightly changed version of the same – Aami chini-go chini tomare, ogo didi-moni, tomra neta hole akajer, tomra neta hole akajer, ogo didi-moni, ogo didi-moni !!
|Recreated image of Writer's Building|
Finally my sincere request to the powers-that-be – Please do not paint the Writer’s Building, green. Leave it red, it was built that way!!