NAME GAME

As we all know on this 12th April, 18th amendment passed by Pakistan Government to rename NWFP (North West Frontier Province) to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. Most of us even don’t know what is Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa is all about. Khyber is a Pashtun word which means land of Pashtuns or Pakhtun (in local language).

The NWFP has long been a crossroads between South Asia and Central Asia, this region is full of different ethnic group those who speaks different languages and mountain passes including the famous “Kyber Pass” – where traders and invaders passed. When the British took over the area, they formed a new province in 1901 called it the “North West Frontier Province” because there territories were northwest of Imperials cap in New Delhi.

Today, NWFP is one of the 4 provinces of the Pakistan. Pashto speakers comprise 75% of province population that is why they want their region should be recognized on their community.80 Votes was caste in favor and 12 votes in against of it.

Nor Renaming is unique to India Mumbai- (formerly Bombay), Kolkata-formerly(Calcutta), Pune-(formerly Poona), Bangaluru-(formerly Banglore). Several other proposed include Bhojpal(Bhopal), Induru(Indore), Mysuru(Mysore) and Hyderabad(Bhagyanaguram).

The process of renaming started at the end of British Imperial period and continuous to date. All renaming has to be approved by the Central Government (in both the countries).

There are several reasons for renaming:-

  • To correct the spelling in English language to the spelling in local language.(Simla to Shimla)
  • To switch back to a local name from an English name derived from the original( Trivandrum to Thiruvanthapuram).
  • To switch from a name of European origin to a name of Indian or Pakistani origin (Madras to Chennai and NWFP to Kyhber Pakhtoonkhwa).
  • To switch from modern Indo-Aryan language form to its Sanskrit or local ancestral form(Ahmedabad to Karnavati).

But do you think is it necessary to rename cities. Many of popular institutions are still in the name of old city like IIT Bombay, Bombay Stock Exchange, IIM Calcutta etc. Does name really matters? Shakespeare once said “What is in thy name”.

All this renaming is a political game to earn fame and votes. Poor people believe that these politicians understand them and give their community to special preference like in case of Khyber and Bombay. MNS burned the poster of Karan Johar’s movie because they used Bombay instead of Mumbai.

These name change is wastage of time and money, Time of our intelligent Government and money of our poor citizen. Like in case of NWFP all the update and renamed documents will cost Rs. 5 billion and federal Government have to bail Rs.3 billion for this. And old document including stationary worth Rs.4 billion which is in the name of NWFP is going to be destroyed.

But government can utilize these Rs.12 billion for the people who are below the poverty line, for agricultural purpose, power generation, education etc. Rebranding of city is not going to provide any shelter, food and education to these people.

It doesn’t matter if you use “Dilli” instead of “Delhi”, nobody is going to correct you. It is just an official name, not a great importance for general people practically. So why to bother? Why to force our Government to change the names of cities and incur such a huge loss in the process? We citizens are the source of Government reserve and these loss are money loss of our own.

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