Thursday, September 15, 2005

Road by any other name will not sound as sweet!

Road by any other name will not sound as sweet!
Deccan Herald

Ever asked an auto driver to go to Hoysala Nagar and received a foxed look in reply? You are not the only one!

Citizens of cosmopolitan Bangalore refuse to accept change in the names of roads, streets and localities which the city fathers have been renaming all the time.

Many old residents of Bangalore feel that changing names of roads and localities, particularly in the Cantonment area, is like slowly erasing the history of Bangalore as many of these names have historical associations.

The most recent attempt is a move by Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to re-name Seppings Road as Sri Devi Muthyalamma Temple Road, which is quite a mouthful. This is among a number of new names proposed for various road and parks in the City.

People of a locality have no say while a name is being changed, which is being done arbitrarily by the BMP. While it does invite objections, it is more of a formality. The re-naming is generally lobbied for by corporators to appease small groups.

The renaming ritual is a sort of cosmetic change when the local authorities have little to show towards the improvement of the City’s infrastructure, says Shanmugam, a resident of Bangalore East. According to Dr Suryanath U Kamath, historian, names of people and places with historical significance should be retained, otherwise it kills our insight into history. Soon after Independence, there was an over-enthusiasm to re-do everything that was British, he added. Dr Kamath says roads named after people who have rendered service to the society and roads with historical significance like Infantry Road and Brigade Road should be retained. However, signs of slavery like Victoria Road and Queen’s Road may be changed.

Many old localities have been given new names, but the old names have remained stuck like glue. While Frazer Town had been renamed as Pulakeshi Nagar, MacIver Town has become Shantala Nagar, Cox Town (Jeevanahalli), Benson Town (Kadamba Nagar), Doddakunte (Sarvagna Nagar), parts of Thomas Town (B L Rice Nagar), Murphy Town (Hoysala Nagar), Williams Town (K C Reddy Nagar), Tasker Town (Swami Shivanandapuram), Austin Town (F Kittel Nagar) and Richmond Town (Sir Mirza Ismail Nagar).

Many people, who are comfortable with the old names, have either not accepted the new names or are not aware of the new names, and still continue to refer to these places with the old names. Many of the old names are shorter, easier to remember and ask for than the new ones.

Autorickshaw drivers, who are otherwise street-smart, are foxed when passengers (usually visitors to the City) ask for destinations with new names.


At Wednesday, March 8, 2006 at 1:59:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think that giving indian names to our roads is a good thing, we will be able to identify with it better, but what I dont like is how far theses names are pushed- change it but dnt make it extremely difficult to either rememeber or even pronounce.


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