Monday, December 1, 2008

Bombay!

I dislike & hate all that the name Mumbai stands for:

- the politics of hate
- the politics of language
- the politics of region
- the politics that focusses on the trivia
- the politics that does not require its leaders to deliver on promises
- the politics that allows its leaders to divide and rule

And No, I will not leave it if I do not like the name. I refuse to accept anyone telling me what my city will be called.

But what I can do (all I can do?) is to tell these politicians & leaders, that I refuse to accept your nomenclature, and by inference, your politics.

So, in my mind, Peddar Road, Warden Road, Cuffe Parade, Napean Sea Road and French Bridge remain exactly that - whatever you wish to call them for your politics of convenience and hate.

And Bombay resumes being, Bombay.

So, I hereby re-christen my City BOMBAY:

The city of hope
The city that unifies
The city that will survive the corrupt and inefficient
The city where the corrupt and inefficient will not survive
The city that aspires and deserves to be a City-State.
The city that needs to break free from the regional leaders and politicians.
The city that will be much bigger than all of them, if only we & they let it be.

Where only Indians stay.
Without fear or favour.
Which will get its due from the Centre.
And which will not have to depend on a State's charity.

So, from today on, my City (State?) is Bombay again.

Oh, and Mr T., if you do not like it, you may go retire & settle down in Vidarbha or Nagpur or Pune or wherever. And next time, remember to change your own surname before you preach to the world.

This is our city, not yours. Because we contribute a lot more to it than you and your likes ever have or will.

Why BOMBAY, You wonder? Because, historically, Bombay was not just a city, it was a state. And it was the ONLY state then in India that did NOT have its basis in linguistic origins.

And that is exactly what Bombay needs to revert to, today. And, it needs to become an independent state as well. And for its past legacy of being inclusive than divisive.

Spelled as B-O-M-B-A-Y.

Let the word roll over your tongue and you'll realise how much sweeter it sounds.

Bombay!

28 comments:

Sagarone said...

I like it! I have always held that Bombay just happens to be located here, otherwise it has a more metropolitan history and culture than a marathi one.

Deeps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deeps said...

so very well put,DIM..loved reading this post. I wish our dear beloved politicians too read this post and shake themselves up!

Does it matter said...

@ Sagarone
Yes, Bombay deserves better.

Geographical location does not need to be a cross to be carried all its life.

@ Deeps
Hah, the only shaking politicians might want to do, on reading this piece, might be to shake up yours truly!!

Ajit said...

@DIM,
this is by far the best post (according to me).....
yes, we have to reclaim "Bombay" for all the right reasons.....

manju said...

Does it matter- I'm afraid that I reserve my right to call this city Mumbai. :)

I do not want to call it by a name foreigners gave it.

A widespread explanation of the origin of the traditional English name Bombay holds that it was derived from a Portuguese name meaning "good bay".( Wikipedia)

However you, of course, have the right to call it by whatever name you wish. :)

Does it matter said...

@ Manju

Ofcourse you can call it Mumbai.. but to me Mumbai stands for the politics of hate and divisiveness.

To me, the legacy of Bombay left behind by foreigners is a lot better than what the politicians have done (or not done) for it.

Mumbai is anyway got so many regionalistic & chauvinistic undertones to it, that I would rather use a foreign given word, but which I associate with goodness and inclusiveness; than with an Indian-origin one with negative associations..!

Gazal said...

there's nothing in a name...

the issue is not the name.....but the fact that there's nothing else to make an issue out of..

sorri for not having dropped in since so long

Vinod_Sharma said...

DIM, I appreciate your sentiments and the understanding of the positive energy that is needed to heal this great city. But, I would rather you do that for Mumbai and not Bombay...the former is the city of most and the latter of an arrogant and disconnected few. Make Mumbai the city of all. Getting back into the cocoon of Bombay will not heal the divide that Raj T and the like have created.

Anrosh said...

my friends here ask me should i call it mumbai or bombay. and i have always said it is bombay.

Indian Home Maker said...

Your BEST post. I also feel all the trouble began with the change in name. Because the name change was done to create divides, with a lot of aggression and I hated it when Mr T would insist you only say 'Mumbai'. Once he told Harish salve :"It's Mumbai, not Bombay!" And Harish salve told RT, "I will say BOMBAY!"
Shobha De is the only other person I have seen so fearless in the face of such aggression.

But the name change should go with changes in our attitudes too. Let's all wake up to our responsibilities - I watched Tarana(RJ) saying, she will never bribe, she WILL vote, she will never vote for any leader who ever talks about hating your own countrymen .... we need a revolution, a peaceful satyagrah.

Does it matter said...

@ Gazal
Ah, but there is something in a name. Historically, Bombay was not a city, it was a state. And it was the ONLY state then in India that did NOT have its basis in linguistic origins.

And that is exactly what Bombay needs to revert to, today. And, it needs to become an independent state as well, though I am sure the parasitic leeches that our politicians are, they will not wish to let go..

And another thing is - as citizens, there is only so much we can do. Even if it is symbolic, it is still a message to the politicians of what we do and dont believe in..

And good to have you back, on my blog, and on your own too! Keep posting.

@ Vinod
Is Mumbai really the city of many/ most, and Bombay that of a few? I doubt, I sincerely doubt that. And Bombay, because, I believe it needs and deserves to be a State. And for its past legacy of being inclusive than divisive

@ Anrosh
I have not, so far. I have been calling it Mumbai even if the name Bombay comes to tongue so easily. But I will change, and Bombay comes back - may I say, Bombay Lives!

@ IHM
Yes, the aggression with which even the MNS spokesperson (dont even know his name, but he is an irritating pest who keeps coming on TV) used to 'correct' people who would say Bombay, was downright vulgar. Ofcourse today he and his master are nowhere to be seen, they have realised the public opinion.
Yes, you are right. We have to start the change, not just with a name (which is merely symbolic) but in action too. Even if it is in a very small manner, because if everyone done it, it gets multiplied a billion times. Forget a billion, even a few million will make a positive difference.

Meira said...

I get what you mean. And I'd like to remember Bombay for all the things you mentioned...that it once stood for.

Does it matter said...

Meira,

And what Bombay will, hopefully, stand for again, too.

Meira said...

Amen.
There's something for you on my blog.

umm oviya said...

Rushdie agrees with you :)

Goofy Mumma said...

I am completely with you on this one. I still call it Bombay and will forever. Cheers to Bombay!

Love your posts, have blog rolled you. :)

Khizzy said...

i replied to your comment.
:)

i hope it clears up any misconception. or maybe my latest post will. and the link at the end of it.

rain girl said...

does it even matter?

Does it matter said...

@ Meira,
just dropped by your blog.. Thx.

@ Umm oviya
Well, was unaware of Rushdie's views!

@ Goofy Mumma
:)

@ Raingirl
Well, it is about how you perceive it.. My views, I have written enough :)
Do tell yours..

Just call me 'A' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just call me 'A' said...

Bombay will always be Bombay to me....irrespective of who gave the name.....this is what i identify with.....i cannot suddenly become 'Aaa' from 'A'..can I.
i cannot know it by any other name. i agree with IHM....i like this the BEST from all your post so far.

How do we know said...

Hail Bombay!

ajar said...

Hmm

Ishita Jain said...

Bombay or Mumbai.. does it REALLY matter? I mean, does the spirit of the city REALLY tarnish with the change of something as *apparently* trivial as its name?
I don't think so.
Though I'm still in the habit of calling it Bombay *and Kolkatta Calcutta!*

the mad momma said...

i dont know how i got here but I loved this post...

and yes, it will always be bombay to me for all the reasons you've stated in the post as well as in your replies to comments.

PS: that whole rage against the foreigner argument doesnt work for me. we cant wipe out our history by changing the name. and its funny that we're happy to all type our comments here in English, the language left behind by foreigners, wear jeans that they left behind... do so much that is their legacy, but make a completely pointless gesture by calling it mumbai.. strange...

http://themadmommma.wordpress.com

Poonam Sharma said...

Sometimes we too, with our silence, encourage people who divide us in name of culture, region and religion.

If we want a city of our dreams, we need to speak out not only on our blogs, but where it matters most.

http://alchemistpoonam.worpdress.com

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