Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Peter Hitchens on renaming of Bombay.

Last week Peter Hitchens from the Daily Mail, London had written to me in connection to a story he was doing on BBC's decision to rename Bombay to Mumbai and the renaming of the cities worldwide . He asked me whether Bombay was still called Bombay or is it Mumbai.
We exchanged a few mails on the confusion.
The final result - His article in my Mail on Sunday column on Sunday.
www.dailymail.co.uk/.../columnists.html?in_ article_id=381070&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=224

The Daily mail is a paid site so here's Peter's Article

IRRITATED by the way most of the media have taken to referring to Bombay as

'Mumbai' during the recent Test match, I did some research.

Supporters of this move are mostly making fools of themselves. The politically correct might like to know that many people in Bombay refuse to

use the new name. The local High Court and stock exchange still bear the name 'Bombay'.

And the move to get rid of the 400-year-old (Portuguese) name came from Hindu nationalists, whom the BBC would certainly describe as 'Rightwing' if it knew anything about them, which I suspect it doesn't.

We could avoid all this if we just called famous cities and countries by the names we have used for years. Since I don't call Prague 'Praha', Warsaw Warszawa' or Paris 'Paree', I don't see why I should have to call Peking 'Beijing'.

In a way it's a compliment to them that we have an English name for them. I don't object if Italians call London 'Londra'. The BBC doesn't call Burma 'Myanmar', or Rangoon 'Yangon'. Nor does it call Dublin 'Baile Atha Cliath', its official name since 1922.

By the way, if 'Bombay' is 'Mumbai' then oughtn't they to call India 'Bharata'? And did you know that Croatia is really Hrvatska?

Peter's Blog